Economics & Accounting, UC Santa Barbara
How was your first year at a 4-year university?
My first year was extremely busy but productive as I got to meet many new friends and acquaintances.
What surprised you most?
What surprised me the most upon transferring is how intense my major is. When I was initially accepted by UCSB I wasn’t automatically accepted by the Economics Department into my major, so I had to compete with hundreds of students to be accepted into the major. UCSB’s acceptance rate is approximately 20%; out of everyone who competes to get into the major, only 20% will be accepted. All transfer students who want to get into the major must take a "filter" class, ECON 10A, and it is by far the most difficult class I have ever taken. This is why my first quarter was a bit stressful.
What was similar to what you were expecting?
I was expecting my classes to be more interesting for me because finally I’m focusing on what truly interests me: Econ. & Actg.
What did a counselor or the Transfer Center prepare you for that was useful?
I went through the entire application process by myself. However, after having transferred, I did return for additional requirements regarding IGETC, and the transfer department helped me find online classes that I could take while at UCSB in order to finish my GE and become fully IGETC certified.
What information would have been useful to know beforehand?
With regards to information, I think it would have been useful to know that if you’re planning on studying Economics, you should take as much calculus as possible because your mathematical background will be directly related to how successful you are in this major. I took Math 1A and 1B at SRJC, and I don’t regret it for a single second because had I not taken those classes, I probably wouldn’t have been accepted into the major. I believe the math background I developed at SRJC is directly responsible for my admission to the major. I mention this because I ran into other students who transferred from different community colleges who had taken the business calculus series which is much easier than simply taking at least two semesters of calculus, and they were struggling a lot with understanding the conceptualization of economic principles being applied mathematically. In fact, many of them sadly weren't admitted into the major.
How does UCSB compare to SRJC? What’s similar? What’s different?
UCSB is on a quarter system which is different than SRJC’s semester system. I think it is crucial for students who are transitioning from a semester system to a quarter system to know what they are getting themselves into because the systems are completely different. I would compare the quarter system to being extremely stressful because it’s almost like being in one of those television series where they work for the CIA or FBI and the characters always seem to be in a rush for everything. The quarter system goes by extremely fast, and the university has very strict expectations of its students. If one falls behind even for one day, it is difficult to catch up, so I would warn any transferring student about this difference.
Do you have any transfer tips for SRJC students?
I can only give advice to students who are planning to transfer as economics or economics and accounting majors. After being here for one academic year, I have learned a lot about how things work at UCSB. That being said, I would advise any student who transfers to UCSB not to get too distracted with the party scene that exists here. It is true, UCSB has a big party scene, but they must know how to have a good balance because they wouldn’t want to fall under either extreme of partying too much or living in the library all day. I have managed to find the right balance that works for me. This balance that works for me so I can keep up with my academic responsibilities and personal wellbeing is the following:
- 8-10 hours of school work a day Monday-Saturday.
- Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays have fun with friends during the evenings (playing some beer games, grabbing lunch, or simply kicking back).
- I spend about 6 hours of studying or doing homework on Sundays, but that’s only because I’m trying to get a good GPA in order to get accepted into a good program in taxation (since that’s my focus in accounting). Also, I try a bit harder than most students because I’m also prepping for the CPA exam upon receiving my bachelor’s and that’s about a year commitment to prepare.