Hello Studyblr Community,
Even though I’m transferring to university this fall, I know that my community college is starting up soon. So, I thought it would be helpful for those in community college (freshmen or otherwise) to know how my experience went. Hopefully I will help you avoid making the same mistakes I did and have a stress free transition from community college to university.
Before You Step on Campus for the First Time:
- Take the Placement Test Now!! :Hopefully you’ve already done this, but taking the placement test is so crucial. You can’t make an effective schedule if you don’t know where you stand. Many people make the mistake of taking classes before taking the test and it messes up their entire time line. If you haven’t done it, try to do it within the next week or so.
- Take the Placement Test Soon, But DO the Prep work: Many schools offer prep for the placement test and it can really make a difference if you go over the material first. My school only allowed us to take the placement test twice. I made the mistake of not prepping the first time I took it and I when I tried to prep for the second time, I felt a whole lot more confident. It may not change your placement, but you will never know. Some people skipped multiple classes just by studying for a couple days.
- Don’t Let Your Placement Ruin Your Mood: You may get placed in a class that’s lower than you expected, don’t let this discourage you! In my experience, its better to start in a lower placement (especially in subjects like Math) because it will give you an opportunity to not only brush up on your skills and find your weaknesses, but also get used to how the subjects are taught in a college setting.
- Stay Positive!: Just because you’re at a Community College, doesn’t mean you’re not capable or smart. I went to a private high school and when I told people I was going to community college they were shocked. I had a strong GPA so they didn’t understand why I would choose not to go to the many universities that accepted me. My personal reason was that university was just too expensive at the time. You have your own reason. You don’t have to explain yourself. But know if you’re reading this, it obviously means you care about your education. So don’t worry about the name. An education is an education. **Side Note: Many of my teachers at my college work at my uni, so I basically got the same class for THOUSANDS of dollars less.
- See a Counselor as SOON as Possible: You might think you know what classes to take, but in reality you don’t. If you know what school you want to transfer to, tell them that too. Many school’s require the same classes in order to transfer, but a couple have very specific requirements to weed out candidates. So tell your counselor as soon as possible.
- If You Can, Find ONE counselor and stick with them: This maybe hard to do, but I joined a education program during the second half of my freshman year and it changed my life. I was able to get a specific counselor. She was super sweet and she wanted to know me and understand my goals so she could help me. She constantly stayed in touch and I made it a point to meet with her at the end of every semester so I had a clear path for the next term. By finding one person, you save time on having to repeat your story and goals, and you also ensure you get a person who cares about you. If you find someone you like, ask for their email and inquire about how you can meet with them specifically.
Now You’re College Student:
- Keep EVERY syllabus your teachers give you on the first day: many universities require you to bring the syllabus to your transfer counselor so they can determine if the class meets their requirements. This is the only way to ensure you will get credit for the classes you finished, so NEVER throw them away. Nothing is more awkward than asking a professor if they have their syllabus from 2 years ago, especially if you never had a relationship with them.
- Try to make Relationships: Coming from a person who HATES social interactions with strangers, I’ve noticed community college is just that, a community. I only had to out right introduce myself once in my two years. All the other times, people came up to me and talked. But regardless building relationships with your teachers and your fellow classmates will save your butt more than I can tell you. **Side Note: Relationships with teachers can be hard to start up, but just remember they’re people and they’re being paid BY YOU to help you. So make sure their earning your money. Ask for help, and if they don’t want to, push them. Again YOU are paying them. And most times they appreciate seeing a student take the time to fight for their education and will be more likely to help you when finals come around. So build them early.
- Find Resources: Campus has so much to offer, but you would never know if you don’t look for them. The most important resource for me was the math lab. I was hanging on by a thread by the time I went in there as a freshman, but I met a tutor who saved my ass. I pretty much lived there ever since. So if you need help, PLEASE GO LOOK FOR IT! **Side Note: Scholarships through the school tend to be easier to find (and a whole lot safer) than outside scholarships. Look into how you can apply if its possible.
- Join a Program: Many schools have programs to help certain groups (such as race based programs or scholars programs). These groups tend to have reserved classes for those who are part of their program which can ensure that you get the classes you need. And its a cool thing to put on your transfer application.
- Stay Motivated!!!: Remember you are going places and you have a reasons to work hard. Maybe you want to attend your dream university, earn an AA degree, make yourself proud..etc. Whatever it is work hard at it! People will take notice and opportunities can open up because of it. Don’t get discourage if takes more than 2 years to complete your classes, just don’t give up! You are putting in the effort to better yourself and that’s an amazing thing.