daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian by September 8th!

What you need to know if you're a transfer student

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

MARCH 24, 2016

There are two types of long-term undergraduate students at UC Berkeley: those who got in as freshman and those who transferred. And although both sets of students must go through orientation, learn a little about campus traditions and generally be guided through the first semester, transfer students often feel like they’ve been left behind. Whether it’s feeling like you’ve already transitioned from high school or you’ve got to hit the ground running, oftentimes transfers miss out on some of the quintessential college experiences. We at the Clog have come up with some of the most important things you need to keep in mind when transferring to UC Berkeley from a community college.

Take advantage of the UC Berkeley Transfer Student Center

Coming to a world-renowned university is both exciting and terrifying, so you’re going to need a little help figuring out what the hell you’re doing on campus. Luckily, there’s an entire center just for you. The Transfer Student Center provides services that’ll help your transition run smoothly. From academic planning to community enrichment, you’ll be able to find the resources you need. Don’t be afraid to check the center out, it helps make UC Berkeley feel just a bit smaller.

Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to that 4.0 GPA

Look, you got into UC Berkeley. You’re a smarty pants, a genius and incredibly good at bullshitting an essay. No one’s going to deny that. But the reality is that the full transition to a four-year university often leaves you stressed and feeling out of place when you’re used to being at the top of your class. It’s okay if your GPA fluctuates while you’re getting comfortable. We all know that your first B or C, or dare I say it, D, will feel like a piece of you died, but don’t blame yourself. One day you’ll truly embrace the age old adage that “Cs get degrees.”

Take a tour of the campus at orientation

Seriously, take the tour. There are a billion buildings on campus and practically none of them have a noticeable name on the outside. Taking the tour will make your transition that much more comfortable. You’ll already know where you need to go for your classes. Also, you don’t want to feel like a freshman with a map. Once you’ve got your classes figured out, walk to them. You’ll discover nice resting and study places before the semester has even started.

Get involved on campus right away

You’re coming in as a transfer, so your age could be anything from 19 to 99, and it might feel strange to join a club with a bunch of young 20-year-olds. Do it! If you have the time, joining clubs is a nice way to meet people and feel like you’re getting something out of your short two-year term at UC Berkeley. There’s a club for everything from Taiko drumming to swing dancing. If you like something, there’s probably a club for it. Similarly, you can join a DeCal, a student-led class. You can take a class on Harry Potter or learn how to use a bow and arrow. The smaller classes may just give you the opportunity to make friends with like-minded students.

Some people will think you had an easier time because you came from a community college

The transfer experience is quite unique, and most transfer students aren’t comparable to each other or the other new students. Somehow, there seems to be a general consensus on campus that you’ve had an easier time. We all know that you’re just as hard-working and deserving of your degree. Be proud of yourself — you made it!

Contact Sophia Zepeda at [email protected].

MARCH 23, 2016