For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Oct 11 2015
by Hanna Kang

An Open Letter to Every Prospective Transfer Student

By Hanna Kang - Oct 11 2015

Dear Future Transfer Student,

You are an amazing human being. Everyone can't put up with commuting to school, taking an overwhelming amount of credits, attending club meetings and filling out those darned college applications for the second time, without going completely crazy.

Maybe it’s because of the fact that you already made the trip to the place between heaven and hell—the place where anyone can turn insane, or maybe it’s just me. I attended an extremely competitive school where an unspoken hierarchy system based on grades exists - where community college is never an option.

It was extremely difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I’d be attending a community college for a year or so, but I knew it was only temporary. I always made sure to steer clear from large groups of people and panicked when a conversation with a friend or teacher showed the slightest sign of advancing toward that topic. I felt so embarrassed whenever I was forced to answer the question: “So Hanna, where are you going?” I can laugh about it now, but looking back, I don’t think there was a time when I felt so unsure of myself than the last few moments of my senior year.

On a positive note, I've changed quite significantly since then, and I sincerely hope to enlighten you with some of the things I learned from the summer following my graduation, and the few weeks I spent at community college (CC). 

You know, you’re pretty lucky to be attending a CC. I don’t know about you, but so far, I’ve learned more right here than I’ve ever learned at any other academic institution in my entire life; and no, I’m not talking about useless math equations or boring art history jargon. There’s just something so uplifting and enriching about a CC community. Look around and study the faces in your classes because the wide variety of people walking around campus never fails to amaze me—how did they get here? What kind of stories can they tell? What are their future plans?

Chewing hours on end on these vague questions somehow matured me. I really don’t know exactly how or why, but I do have a pretty good idea.    

I’ve always lived in a bubble, surrounded by people who were really no different from myself -- same age, same school, same extracurricular activities, same name and even same race. We all wanted the same things: good specs, acceptance into a prestigious university and fun with friends, but to be honest, all of us were super immature even if we never seemed to realize it back then.      

The painful transition into community college was essentially my saving grace. I used to have really bad tunnel vision; attending a CC for a mere six weeks broadened that tunnel into a highway, and another seven weeks turned the highway into an open sea. Just like different colors exude different temperatures and different textures stimulate different senses, different people tell different stories. In turn, these stories added to my knowledge and convictions. Every day, I grew more mature, as the stories in my heart built up. I thank my campus community for giving me the most precious gift a normal, four-year university probably couldn’t have.

And in return, you should thank yours. There may be some of you who still grumble as you walk onto campus, feeling sorry for yourself who has to mingle with “the dumb kids,” however there are some kids who are here because of some bad marks they received back in high school, but as I’ve said before, everyone has a different story to tell. That’s the beauty of community college.   

Always make the best out of any situation. That’s what I tell myself whenever I’m stuck in a rut. You’re almost there and it would be a crying shame to wander off the track now. You are an amazing person with honest and positive stories that other prospective transfer students want to hear. Don't be afraid to tell those stories.   


Your biggest fan 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Hanna Kang - Mt. San Antonio College

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