Fall 2018 was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. After being at a community college for three years, I made the somewhat scary leap of transferring to San Diego State University. While I grew up only an hour away from this university in Orange County, California, I realized right away that massive changes still were going to happen. This is what I have learned so far…

1. You're going to feel like a little fish in a big pond at first. 

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34,000 students go to my school. That is more than the average-sized city in the United States—A.K.A, that is A LOT of students. Don't get me wrong, my community college had a large population of students, too. But there is something about a university campus that has so much hustle and bustle that you are bound to feel a little lost at first.

2. University campuses have a stronger sense of community.

Coming from a large community college, I was not expecting there to be such a shift in the feelings around campus. I think the correct words to describe this phenomenon would be a "sense of pride". This was an unpredicted positive for me. It's nice to feel like you belong to something. Passing hundreds of students each day in school shirts, seeing banners around campus and having school pride activities all around you—these things all add to the feeling that you are here in this community and you are apart of it.

3. Classes are not going to transfer over perfectly… hiccups will be encountered.

Myself and just about every other transfer student I have ever talked to have encountered some sort of problem with the correct classes correlating with their new university. It most likely will happen. Take a deep breath and power through that Econ 101 course you are taking with 200 freshmen, all because you took macro instead of micro at your previous college.

4. Living on your own is the best and worst thing

https://www.bustle.com/articles/42127-10-new-girl-nick-miller-quotes-for-absolutely-any-situation-life-throws-at-you

Moving out for the first time usually goes hand in hand with transferring to a university from a community college. This definitely has its pros and cons. Having your own space, making your own decisions and not having anyone to report to gives you a sense of freedom and independence. But let's be honest, I miss my mom so much sometimes.

5. You feel a weird sense of adding the word "transfer" in front of your grade level when asked

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You may be classified as a junior on campus, but you don't feel like a junior quite yet. You'll feel like you have the same knowledge of the campus as a freshman, but you are 21 years old. You don't know where the best restaurants are, where the bathrooms are, the best study areas or where your class buildings are. It is an entirely new culture to learn.

6. Having a defined major is nicer than I ever realized

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This is another thing I never thought twice about before transferring, but having the same classes as a group of people, seeing familiar faces repeatedly and sharing the same interests as you is actually really nice.

7. Classes will require more time

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I had a feeling this one would be true, and let me tell you, it is. From my experience over the past couple of months, classes at a university level are much more rigorous and require more dedication to achieving that high GPA.

8. Finding your place in this new environment is very rewarding

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It wasn't easy at first, but once it happens, it is very fulfilling. You get to make friends and join groups from a fresh start. There are no previous labels on you. It's your decision as to how you would like to present yourself.

9. Surviving in a new city has it challenges

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Finding the closest Trader Joe's and best local restaurants are very important pieces of business.

10. I realized I wouldn't have done it any other way

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While being a transfer student has its downfalls, I couldn't imagine doing my college experience any different. Looking back at being an 18-year-old high school student, I was not sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. Going to a community college let me boost my GPA, save a ton of money and create the clearest path possible to what I want.

Despite this up and down roller coaster when transferring, I'm so glad to be here today.