My Transfer Experience

Hi everyone! I want to start off by saying congratulations to all the incoming transfer students on your acceptances to UCLA! My name is Caitlin McKenna I’m an Anthropology major and Film minor. Even though I’ll be graduating this spring, my UCLA journey started two years ago when I was accepted as a transfer student from Pasadena City College.

My path to UCLA has definitely not been linear. After high school, I went to a 4-year university which I soon found out wasn’t the right fit for me. At the end of my first year, I came home to LA and decided to go to community college with the intention of transferring into my dream school. During my first year at CC, I was determined to finish all my courses in 1 year and transfer as soon as possible. I remember holding my breath while checking my portal to see my admission decision only to find out that I didn’t get in.

Even though I was disappointed, I didn’t let this stop me. I found out that my rejection was because of a missing class and planned to take it at my college first thing in the fall. That same year, I reapplied to UCLA and waited anxiously for admissions decisions to be released. When late April finally rolled around, I was on the edge of my seat. I opened my portal for one last time to see the long awaited ‘congratulations’ that I had been working so hard for. My situation made me realize that with determination and perseverance, I can really achieve anything. Walking around campus on Transfer Bruin Day, all the pieces came together, and I could tell that all my hard work was finally paying off.

I knew that going into any university as a transfer student was going to be a difficult transition. I was nervous about my workload, my social life, and making the most of my short two years at UCLA! Because of this, I chose to live on campus my first year in the Transfer Living Learning Community. This is essentially a whole building filled with transfer students that is often referred to by the name of the building, Holly. Living in Holly allowed me to full immerse myself into the UCLA community and gave me the opportunity to meet hundreds of transfer students in the exact same boat as me. If any of you transfers are considering an on campus living situation, I would highly recommend looking into the transfer LLC. I can’t think of a better way to build a strong foundation for transfer students to meet one another and thrive.

I am also currently a mentor to first-year transfer students through the mentorship program provided by the Transfer Center. This program is such an amazing opportunity because it pairs second year transfers with incoming students to help show them the ropes and ease them into a smooth transition to UCLA. The application to become a mentee opens in the summer, so make sure to keep your eyes open for that!

The transfer community is truly one of the most accepting and open-minded groups on campus. The Transfer Center offers study halls, trivia nights, and various activities to help bring the community together and encourage everyone to get to know one another. They even offer academic counseling drop-in hours so we can get advising from counsellors that are extremely familiar with the transfer situation!

Every transfer story is unique, but it is through these differences that we are all brought together. UCLA does an amazing job with making sure the transfer community is included and considered, never letting us fall through the cracks. I’m very excited to able to say that not only am I proud to be a transfer Bruin!