All of my close family and friends know why I transferred out and since I have been putting this off for a while I thought today would be a good day to write about it. I attended UC Davis for one year which was in 2016.
It took me a quarter and a half to accept my true emotions about how I truly felt at UC Davis. I always felt alone there, and it never changed.
I lived in a 4 bedroom apartment, where I shared one room with another girl. There were 4 other girls who also lived in the apartment. 2 girls shared one room and the other 2 girls had their own room.
I had made one good friend, Genna, she was a freshman who was in my math class our first quarter there. We met up to study and then started hanging out and I would invite her to the parties my housemates and I had. I got along with my housemates and roommate for the most part. We did have some fun times, but I never really felt like I fit in there. I never felt like I was meant to be there, at community college I was unsure but I felt it was meant to be not long after. I knew my gut was right.
My economics classes were difficult to say for the least, for someone who transferred to the university it was a million times more harder than I had anticipated. I understood NOTHING in my classes, not a damn thing in the economics classes and it terrified me. Economics was supposed to be my major, my passion, and my path in life. For me not to understand anything was so frustrating, and painful. I had worked so hard to attend UC Davis to only feel like a failure when I was there. In all of my other classes I had done fine except for the math class which was ridiculous. The professor was alright, but if I had known the systems for how classes were going to be there beforehand I would NOT have gone. I didn’t learn until I got there that I needed 2 CALCULUS classes which isn’t that bad, but to take for the first time at a UC no thanks! Math is not my best subject, I always try my hardest and I need the extra help in it. I had to pass an “algebra” (pre-cal) class to get to the calculus class. Even with taking all the required classes during the year, I was going to have to take 2 more classes during the summer to be on schedule to graduate which meant more money I didn’t have.
I got a job on campus, which helped me get to know the campus a little bit better and made me feel a little bit better about being there. The job was supposed to have a perk where it paid for my books, but it didn’t. Instead it gave me some social contact with other people on campus besides the customers which were my coworkers. I liked most of my coworkers they were alright people. The job was fine, it gave me some experience and money. It let me get out of my apartment and away from my mind.
My mental health started to suffer in the middle of the first quarter because I was stressed out about my economics class and my pre-cal class. I ended up talking to one of my professors about it, who I really admired there. This professor, Mr. Valenzuela, taught my transfer education class. I told him about the problems I was having and he consoled me and told me I was going to be fine and I was in tears while trying to explain what I was going through. It took me a while just to say everything and get it off my chest. I was so stressed because of how fast the quarter system is and the workload at a UC. I didn’t have any friends, my boyfriend and family were both far away and I wasn’t doing well in my classes. Nothing was making me happy, nothing felt right. I struggled the most with my third quarter, the third quarter was my best academically but the worst for me to handle emotionally. The time for me to go back home was real and I didn’t want to go back as a failure.
I felt like a failure, but I had so much pride I didn’t admit it to anyone. I cried all the time when I was alone which was often and I kept it to myself until the second quarter. I just kept hoping it would get better, that I would understand the classes in my major and I would make friends and get the whole college experience I wanted. I spent most of my first semester talking to my mom, and my boyfriend on the phone. If I wasn’t doing that I was Skyping my boyfriend, watching Netflix, crying or sleeping. I tried going to the gym often to help with my stress and make me feel better, which helped a little bit but not much. I thought about talking about it to a counselor, but I just didn’t have the courage to admit it. My parents told me not to go there and I wanted to prove them wrong. I wanted to prove that I was meant to achieve more in life, but I felt like I wasn’t going to achieve anything like I had anticipated because I wasn’t doing well there.
During the second quarter, Genna called me crying saying she hated school and she was going back home. I tried to talk her out of it, but she told me she told her parents already and she was depressed. She said it was happening and she had just called to tell me. It BROKE MY HEART, that she was in so much pain. After hearing she had everything planned I did what a good friend would do which was support her, wish her the best and stayed in contact. After that my depression escalated because she was the one I related to the most there compared to everyone I had met. She was my best friend there and we had the same experience.
It took me a few weeks to realize if she could go home and get accepted by her parents than I could go home and be happy. I called my boyfriend after a few weeks, crying my eyes out, and I told him how much I hated being there. I hated how lonely it was, how stressed I was over my classes and how much I had wished I hadn’t gone. It was all too much for me and we talked about me transferring out. I called my mom after a few days or so and asked her what would she think if I left and went to a different university and she replied with “I would like it if you were closer to me” That’s all I desired in that moment, was her approval. I had felt like shit for weeks by myself, barely eating, not sleeping well and stressing all the time. Being alone didn’t help, but after telling my boyfriend I felt a lot better. Soon after I told my friend who was preparing to graduate from UC Davis, Jacqueline, and she was surprised to learn what I was going through but she supported me the whole way. I didn’t tell my roommates until after I had seen a counselor to get help with transferring out.
I was stressed about my major, my future, my gpa, money and how I was going to be able to afford summer classes and the stress of it all. Everything got to me every single day. Jacqueline told me I should just drop out my second semester, but I didn’t want to leave and come home so soon. I mean I did, but I didn’t want to feel ashamed about it. So I stayed until I knew it was for sure. I thought it was smarter, it wasn’t. I should have left, but I did save enough money from my job to get an apartment with my boyfriend. If I had left, I would owe less of a loan. It taught me a lesson and gave an unforgettable experience.
After deciding to leave my boyfriend and I decided to find out how I was going to transfer out. He checked at his university (my first choice university) and asked if it would be hard to attend and I asked some advisors how to transfer out. No one there wanted to help me. NO ONE! IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE, they kept turning me away. I decided to go to EOP and ask to see an advisor and I thought someone there would be able to help me. I was right, a new advisor who was just hired ended up helping with everything I needed the best she could. The advisor I was supposed to see wasn’t available and when my advisor went to ask her how to help me with my application she fought for me. This lady who had spoken to me for maybe 10 minutes FOUGHT for me and told the other advisor “NO! We are NOT going to turn her away, she has already been pushed around enough.” I was so thankful and grateful to have met her because I would have just cried after that if I had to have dealt with the other advisor that I was supposed to meet.
After completing my application to the other university I had planned on transferring to, I felt so much RELIEF!!! I could breathe again and I was actually happy! I told my coworkers and they supported me, they barely knew me but they understood that I didn’t belong there. I was accepted to the university I’m currently attending 2 weeks after applying. That was the day I was the most happy at UC Davis.
How am I doing now?
I am much happier at my current university. I have a great job and my classes actually interest me. My grades are better and I like my professors more compared to Davis. I have much more support here with EOP, classmates, professors and my supervisors at work. My mental health is MUCH better, I don’t cry as often because of depression. I go to the doctor often on campus and I’m not as afraid to ask for help now. I have gone to see a doctor about my insomnia and now that I’ve been prescribed sleeping aids, I sleep much better!!! I do get stressed about my classes, but not stressed to the point of breakdowns like before. The stress I had at Davis was because of all the pressure I was under there from the university’s standards compared to the stress I’m under now is because of myself and my own standards. I am really happy to be closer to my brothers, friends and have my boyfriend by my side. I love my apartment and being free to do whatever I want because my boyfriend is my “roommate” compared to before. I didn’t feel that comfortable having to share limited space with 4 other girls. I didn’t have as much security there compared to what I have now.
This post was really difficult to write because it brings up so many memories I do not want to remember. I can’t help but blame myself and think if I had worked harder I could have made it work at UC Davis. I just think people think less of me after finding out I transferred out. When I told a few friends who were attending other universities at the time, they questioned my experience and it made me feel like my decision wasn’t validated even though it was. I had gone through enough to know I was not meant to be there, but I guess we all have our own experiences.