A Transfer Student’s New Environment

It’s not uncommon to see a transfer student on a college campus. Many people, like myself, that come from a community college will tell you: it’s quite a culture shock. Community colleges tend to be smaller in terms of class size and most people are there to get an associate degree in order to be more competitive in the job market. Typically, I found myself to be one of the youngest students in the community college classroom. It is common for students to graduate high school and find themselves at community college to save some money due to the financial hardships of college; most plans have an endgame of transferring to a bigger college.

 

One major difficulty I had was the workload. I have to read so much more now than I did at community college. If there were any reading assignments given to the class, I rarely did them. I was able to get away with missing homework on some nights and working on it right before class— in some cases working on it seconds before it was due. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t do my homework or that I did badly in my classes, I’m just stating that I tended to slack off quite often in a community college in comparison to now.

 

Not only did I have a semi-light workload from school, but I was also working at Starbucks during this time. In most cases, I was working 6-7 hours as a part of the closing team. It was difficult managing work and school, especially because I am not the best at managing my time, plus I was going through a lot during my first semester of school. I was typically stressed about time because it’s not something you can create; I felt as though I wouldn’t have time to do my homework and make it on time to work. It wasn’t until later on in my academic career that I realized I could go straight to work after class in order to maximize my study time and get to work on time. It can be extremely difficult to find a balance between school, work and life at a community college, and the experience is even more more intense than at a major four-year university.

 

However, the biggest difficulty that I have is being away from my family. I lived at home for all of community college, and I’m not as far as most considering the drive from Houston to Austin is about three hours, but having to FaceTime or text my family when I used to see them every day is something I have yet to get used to. While I do enjoy having time to myself, as I have always dreamed of after living with my two younger sisters, mother, and grandparents, listening to petty arguments and laughing and hugging my family is what I miss the most about my time at community college.

 

There are things that I have started doing, such as using a planner to better manage my time, but saying that I have a good grasp of what “college life” is truly like would be an overstatement. While even writing this made me tear up over my family, I am meeting some great people who are making this place feel like home. There are many things that I miss about attending a community college but attending a four-year university has always been my goal. I am so proud of how far I have come to be where I am at today and thankful for all the people that have helped me achieve my goals. If there is anything you should take away from this story, it would be remember to work hard (and hug your family, especially those annoying siblings).