The Truth About Being A Transfer Student

April 19, 2024

With my first year at Berkeley and my junior year about to end, here is an overview of the reality of what it was like coming to Berkeley to finish the second half of my undergraduate studies.

Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you that I love being a transfer student.

Going to community college out of high school was definitely what was best for me. For a bit of background, when I was a senior in college, I applied to ten schools: five UC’s and five Cal States. Out of those ten, the few that I got accepted into were schools I didn’t really see myself attending and committing to for four years.

That’s when my mom told me that I should go to community college. So, I did.

It is important to note that every transfer student’s journey is different from the next, but this is what it was like being a transfer student from my perspective.

The biggest thing that I got out of community college was academic confidence.

I’m not afraid to admit that I am not and will probably never be the smartest person in the room and that is 100% okay. When I graduated high school, I wasn’t the smartest and my grades were not the best in class (aka I was definitely not class valedictorian).

I went into college wanting to get a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology, go to medical school, and become a psychiatrist, but after my first year of community college, I quickly learned that the medical field, or anything containing science and math was not for me. Around this time, I was falling back in love with reading and I was imagining a future for myself where I was surrounded by books and writing and it was just a bit more appealing to me.

When I got to Berkeley, being a transfer student, I didn’t really know what the options were for dorming, so I decided to live off-campus. While I liked living off-campus and having my own apartment, I can’t help but feel like I missed out on a vital college opportunity deciding not to dorm. If I could go back in time, I would have chosen to live in a dorm, just for the first year.

Also to add, the transfer resources on campus are top-notch. The Transfer Center, located in Lower Sproul, gives transfer students access to printers and is just a nice place to study. There are advisors and student peers who are there to help transfer students transition from a community college to Berkeley.

The transfer community is large. While in numbers it is small compared to first-year students, you will meet transfers wherever you go. You will also see all the different stories that transfers have. The age range of transfers is wide and each person has their own story.

There are some people who want to go to a four-year right off the bat after high school, but community college is a great option. Maybe for those who aren’t sure what they want to study, if they didn’t get into their dream school, or something else, the option of community college is there.

Transferring is a great choice and the transfer community at Berkeley is one of the most welcoming and supportive groups of people out there.