Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Student Experience
Victoria Anderson
Victoria Anderson UC Davis, Communications

Victoria Anderson fulfilled her goal of attending a university after high school graduation. However, the path to college for the Notre Dame High School graduate wasn't as straight forward as planned. After a year at a State university campus, and despite doing well in her classes, Victoria realized that she wasn't ready to make that big step as a college freshman. She decided to return home and attend CSM for her sophomore year. In doing so, Victoria became one of a growing number of reverse transfer students – students who begin their college education at universities and transfer to community colleges.

"Although some people criticized my decision, I enrolled at CSM with a positive attitude and the mindset that I would work hard and earn the grades I needed to get into the UC campus of my choice. I also needed some time to figure out a major and where I wanted to transfer," says Victoria. "CSM opened doors for me to succeed. I benefited greatly from the college's counseling services. I met regularly with my counselor to make sure I was on the right path to transfer by the end of my sophomore year."

Victoria also tapped into the resources offered by Transfer Services by attending workshops about transfer agreements and the application process, meeting with university representatives and attending the college’s transfer events. "I also met with my professors to make sure I understood the material presented in class. Classes were not university-size which gave me the chance to interact with my professors. These resources definitely made me a better student." During her year at CSM, Victoria felt that the college gave her the opportunity to grow as an individual and prepare her for the next step.

"For the first time in my life, I looked forward to going to school. My professors were amazing – they had passion for their subjects and they truly wanted their students to succeed. One particular class where I learned valuable life lessons was 'Introduction to Ethnic Studies' taught by Rudy Ramirez. The material he presented was very meaningful because I learned so much about myself. Rudy's class has had a lasting impact on me."

Victoria discovered that another advantage of attending CSM was the ability to develop bonds with professors and classmates, an experience that she didn’t find at the university level. She also learned that by going to CSM and completing all lower division transfer requirements, she had a broader selection of universities to choose from than she did right out of high school. Following a very successful year at CSM, Victoria transferred to U.C. Davis in fall 2012 as a communications major.

"I'm so glad I came home and attended CSM because it helped me in so many ways. Most importantly CSM helped me to reevaluate my life, decide on a major that better suited my strengths, and select a university that is a good fit for me. I'm definitely ready for the next step in my education."