First off, congratulations to all the incoming freshman. WELCOME TO UCLA!

Even though I am a transfer student, I imagine we had similar experiences of the nerve-wracking waiting period. My application release date came later than yours but I was refreshing that application page on a daily!

To my incoming transfers, I am impatiently waiting with you until the upcoming date of the school’s decisions.

The feeling of limbo is no fun. I was extra scared because I had already applied once before. Imagine my reaction when all my friends were already in college and I was rejected from every single school I had applied to. I don’t even have a memory of me crying because that’s how hard I wanted to forget the moment.

To my fellow future transfers, I just wanted to let you know that YOU DO DESERVE TO BE HERE, and just because you are a transfer student, doesn’t mean you’re any less than anyone else.

My first quarter at UCLA was awesome. I met new people, explored LA, attended class with the most prestigious professors in the world. However, I was intimidated by my peers. I didn’t know what to expect from the workload. The quarter system just creeps up on you like a predator, next thing you know, you’re falling behind and boom! Dead. There are a few professors (not naming anyone) who will criticize you for being a transfer student and because they’re people you look up to, you’re going to loathe it. The key is to remember that they don’t define you. You do. Really, who gives a flying fudge about what anyone else thinks; the important thing is you made it one way or another.

Being in a large institution is definitely harder. You’re going to constantly compare yourself to your peers, especially the ones in your major. I almost had a full-blown meltdown making my LinkedIn account the other day. UCLA students aren’t here to play! You feel like others have already had a head start. Instead of feeling like you’ve done nothing with your life, this should motivate you to do more. All of us have somewhat the same goal, you know, GETTING A JOB AFTER GRADUATION.

Being a transfer allowed me to really explore my interests. I learned to recognize an opportunity when one is presented and work my surrounding resources. College is all about knowing how to use your resources and THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM. Good things are coming transfers and it only goes up from here if you stick to your track.

It only took me a total of four years; two years of community college after high school, six rejection letters, a semester of hopeless wandering, and two more years of community college to figure what I wanted. I regret nothing. I know there are others who’ve taken longer educational journeys (*cough cough, dad*), don’t be ashamed of it.

You are who you are for what you’ve been through and let’s be real you’re a way cooler person because of it! Good luck peeps. If you don’t get into a school this time around, it’s not the end of the world. There are other opportunities waiting for you.