Checklist for Commuter Students

Checklist for Commuter Students

Everyone says that starting college is a very exciting part of your life but no one really talks about the stress that comes with preparing for college. There are things you need to figure out such as: will you be living on campus or with family? How will you get to and from school? When thinking of commuting you need to take in consideration a checklist that would make your commuting experience more enjoyable. Here are some tips to make your commute easier:

Staying Safe

Whether you are commuting by public transportation or by your own vehicle, one of the most important things is staying safe. Sometimes you may stay in school very late and by the time you head home it is dark or you may need to leave home very early in the morning. No matter the time, here are some tips on staying safe:

  • Tools*

Pepper spray, taser and emergency car kit are all helpful tools that can be used during an emergency. Read the instructions on how to properly use these tools and only use them for emergencies. 

  • Emergency SOS programs

Android and Apple have an emergency mode on smartphones to help during difficult situations. Depending on the company, these programs allow you to add emergency contacts, call emergency services and put your phone on ultra power saving mode. 

More information for apple users, samsung, and android users.

Nutrition

Sometimes you are running late and forget to make yourself breakfast or maybe you did not pack lunch. One way to avoid this is by meal planning! There are many ways to meal plan, it is done according to your lifestyle. If you have never meal planned before, here is a some tips for beginners:

 When meal planning, it is important to save on produce! Here are some guides to CalFresh, SNAP, and food banks that may be available near you. 

Entertainment

Have a long commute? One of the discouraging things about having a long commute is knowing how to fill in the time. 

  • Listening to a podcast, music, or audiobook  

Student discounts for Apple Music and Spotify

  • Studying

If you have an exam that day, you can review your notes or study guides on the way to school. This is helpful because you are briefly reviewing your notes before your exam to make sure you don’t forget some last minute details. 

Discounted Bus Passes for Students

If you will be taking public transportation to get to and from school, you will need a bus pass. The cost for a bus pass can accumulate but luckily there are programs that offer discounts for students! Additionally, these offers have unlimited rides for your semester/quarter.**

  • Orange County and Irvine Students
  • Bay Area Students
    • Clipper Card 
      • Will be able to use on Caltrain Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, etc… Check the FAQ for more information
      • Must have an income level below $89,320

*keep in mind some places do not allow pepper spray, tasers or anything sharp inside their perimeters 

**rules may vary, visit websites for more information

Reasons to Take Community College Summer Classes

Reasons to Take Community College Summer Classes

Summer is just around the corner and for some that may mean relaxing and recharging by going on camping trips or just hanging out with family and friends. But for others, summer break is a chance to catch up or get ahead in classes. Taking a summer class at a community college allows students to narrow their focus on a single subject – rather than your typical four, five or even six classes during the longer semesters. Although taking a summer class may not sound like a fun way to spend your summer break, taking these classes offer several major benefits. Here are some benefits if you are considering taking a summer class:

Benefit 1: You save money 

Whether you are a high school or college student, taking summer classes at a community college can save you money in the long run. Community college course credits are typically more affordable than those offered at universities. At a CC you may pay only a few hundred dollars or even less than that if you qualify for fee waivers. At a four year university, you may end up paying a few thousand dollars for the same course credit at a CC. Saving money is important even if you are still in high school. 

Additionally if you are a high school student and you want to get ahead in your coursework for college, taking summer classes at a CC may put you ahead of the curve when you apply to college. When you first start college, you will be placed at different levels of mathematics or english classes. To be placed in the correct level course, you need to take a placement test. If you took advanced placement or even college courses, these may count towards your college credits and you will be placed in more advanced courses. This is a benefit as you won’t waste time taking placement tests and in classes you already passed. 

Benefit 2: You are able to transfer to a four year institution or graduate faster

If you started your higher education at a community college your main goal may be to transfer in two years. For some fields, like STEM fields, transferring in two years may be challenging as there are many courses to complete. But taking summer classes can help you complete your courses faster and in turn, transfer to a four year institution faster. 

Since taking summer classes gives you the opportunity to earn more credits, this brings you closer to graduating faster. 

Benefit 3: You complete your core courses and/or are able to catch up on credits 

Summer semesters are shorter than your fall and spring semesters, this may be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you see this. It may be seen as a bad thing because it means you are learning a semester’s worth of material in five or six weeks. The plus side of this is that you are able to put all of your time and energy into a single subject rather than juggling multiple courses. So if you are dreading to take a challenging course during a long semester, consider taking it during the summer. 

Benefit 4: Opportunity to study abroad 

If summer vacation is about traveling and experiencing new things, why not do it while getting ahead in your studies? Many study abroad programs take place during the summer, and depending on that the school has to offer, it could be a great opportunity to both learn and travel.

Quick Guide for Undocumented Students Applying to the CSU as a First-time Freshmen + Transfer Student

Applying to California State Universities is an incredible accomplishment! Congrats to you! Sometimes the process can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several resources out there to help you! Including, our website! So you are in the right place. Whether you are applying to a CSU as a first time student or as a transfer student, the process can be overwhelming. Keep on reading to get started! 

* This quick guide is intended to support undocumented first-time freshmen and transfer students applying to the CSUs for Fall 2021* To check which CSU’s are still accepting applications click here. 

Applying to the CSU as a first-time student

Overview of Applying to the CSU (for full details and steps click here: Quick Guide for Undocumented Students Applying to the CSU as a First-time Freshmen)   

  1. Visit the Cal State Apply page (Cal State Apply | CSU
  2. Completing Your Profile
    • Degree goal: Select “First Bachelor’s Degree” 
    • Current educational goal: As a first year applicant, you will choose “Graduating High School Senior or equivalent” with or without college credit. This is based upon classes completed and your academic transcripts. 
    • Previous attendance: If you have attended a CSU campus before and are returning to complete an earlier program, make that clear. Contact the campus to find out how to apply for re-admission. 
    • U.S. Military status: Indicate your current or anticipated U.S. Military status at the time of application. 
    • Residency: Indicate if you have or will need an F1 student or J1 exchange visa. Undocumented 
  3. My Application Dashboard: Your dashboard gives you access and details to each part of the application you need to complete. The four sections you must submit are:
    • Personal Information 
    • Academic History 
    • Supporting Information 
    • Program Materials

NOTE: In order to be officially coded as an AB540/ SB68 student and pay resident fees at the CSU, you must submit your affidavit and an official copy of your transcripts/attendance records to the Admissions offices at each of the universities where you applied. Check with each campus for their deadline.

  1. Choosing Your Programs
    • Selecting programs: Click on the plus icon next to add programs/major. Add alternatives if desired.
    • Residency: The state where you claimed residency in the profile section will already be entered. Visit your profile section to change it. Select the state you claim as your permanent home. If you qualify for AB540/SB68, choose “yes” for California residency. Enter the date your present stay began.
    • Race and Ethnicity: Indicate how you identify. You may decline to answer these questions.
    • Parent/Guardian Information 
    • Other Information
  2. Academic History 
    • High Schools Attended
    • High School Coursework 
    • College Coursework 
  3. Submitting Your Application 
    • Be sure to review each section to ensure that your information has been properly entered. Mistakes could complicate or prevent your admission to the CSU. 
    • When you apply through Cal State Apply, you are automatically considered for an application fee waiver based on the information you entered.
    • REMEMBER: Undocumented students who will qualify for AB 540/SB 68 non-resident tuition exemption can be considered for the fee waiver.

For the full guide, go Quick Guide for Undocumented Students Applying to the CSU as a First-time Freshmen 

Applying to the CSU as a transfer student

Overview of Applying to the CSU as a transfer student (for full details and steps click here: Quick Guide for Undocumented Students Applying to the CSU as a Transfer Student   

  1. Visit the Cal State Apply page (Cal State Apply | CSU
  2. Completing Your Profile 
    • Level of degree you’re seeking: Select “First Bachelor’s Degree” 
    • Entry status: As a transfer applicant, you have two options:
      • If you are transferring with an Associate Degree for Transfer, select “Transferring with an Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T, AS-T) from a California Community College.” Indicate your community college and ADT program. You may enter up to two. 
      • If you are transferring from a CA community college or another college, select “Transferring from a California community college or from another two-year or four-year institution.” 
  3. Choosing Your Programs 
    • Selecting programs: Click on the plus icon next to add programs/major. Add alternatives if desired. 
    • You may be asked to select an alternate choice for certain programs that are impacted. Impacted programs are majors that receive more applicants than available spaces. You will automatically be enrolled in this alternate program should your first choice become unavailable.
  1. My Application Dashboard 
    • Personal Information 
    • Academic History 
    • Supporting Information 
    • Program Materials

NOTE: In order to be officially coded as an AB540/ AB2000/SB68 student and pay resident fees at the CSU, you must submit your affidavit and an official copy of your transcripts/attendance records to the Admissions offices at each of the universities where you applied. Check with each campus for their deadline.

  1. Submitting Your Application 
    • Be sure to review each section to ensure that your information has been properly entered. Mistakes could complicate or prevent your admission to the CSU. 
    • When you apply through Cal State Apply, you are automatically considered for an application fee waiver based on the information you entered.
    • Payment: Cal State Apply charges $70 to apply to each program
    • REMEMBER: Undocumented students who will qualify for AB 540/SB 68 non-resident tuition exemption can be considered for the fee waiver.

For the full guide, go Quick Guide for Undocumented Students Applying to the CSU as a Transfer Student

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5 Ways to Connect With Your Classmates in a Virtual Setting

5 Ways to Connect With Your Classmates in a Virtual Setting

By MONICA AGUILERA

Boba-drinking, Zelda-playing, Horror-watching brown girl from Oaxacalifornia.

During our Let’s Go to College LA launch, we found out that one of the biggest concerns college students had during this online transition was “how do we meet other people?” While prior to this semester, all it took was a “Do you have a pencil I can borrow?” to spark up a conversation with your classmate, that interaction is not very convenient now in an online setting. Meeting other people is important in order to establish connections, build study groups, and create long-term friendships. We have gathered some ways you can connect with others as we continue online learning! 

 

  1. Facebook Groups: 
    • Yes Facebook is still useful! Did you know some college campuses have Facebook pages and Facebook groups where students sell textbooks, recommend professors and classes, and share different events going on at campus?
  2. Wildfire: 
    • Wildfire is similar to Facebook but on a separate app. In your bio, you can share your major, your graduation year,and your residence hall. This is for folks looking for a more close-knit social network of their campus! 
  3. Zoom: 
    • Fellow introverts, use Zoom private message to your advantage! Respectfully reach out to your classmates asking if they want to form a study group for that class. You can share notes, discuss class topics, and fill each other in if an absence occurs! You can also ask in the chat box if anyone wants to start a Group Me or if one already exists! 
  4. Clubs: 
    • Clubs are still meeting during COVID, preferably check their Instagram pages to follow up on their meeting dates and times. You can also look up the different clubs your school offers and their contact info on your college’s club directory page!
  5. Campus Events: 
    • Campus events are still happening online as well! Apart from clubs hosting activities, campus resources like your Women’s Center, LGBTQ+ center, Black Resource Center, etc hold events too! Explore the different resources you have on campus and connect with them to attend their events and meet others.
Distanced Learning Tips to Have A Great Fall 2020!

Distanced Learning Tips to Have A Great Fall 2020!

By ANA ANTUNA

LA girl who enjoys films, vegetarian food, and art. USC Alum.

This Fall semester, most colleges have chosen to continue with remote instruction due to COVID-19. Each campus has made their individual fall plans, check here for the latest news on your campus. Distanced learning was something new to most of us during the Spring semester and it is something we will continue experiencing throughout the Fall semester. Whether you are a first-year college student or a rising senior, below are some distance-learning tips that can be useful for you this upcoming school year.

Tips: 
  1. Online Resources 
    • While you should aim to stay connected with your on-campus resources, there is also an abundance of online resources for additional tutoring. Here are options for additional learning and proofreading your essays!
      • Quizlet helps understanding several subjects. If you study well with flashcards, check this resource.
      • Grammarly is a downloadable extension that helps proofread your essays and emails.
      • Writing essays is a huge part of your college experience. Learn how to cite properly using websites such as Zotero, Cite Machine, or EasyBib
      • Prepare for Online Learning by visiting this resource page for community college students
  2. Stay Connected
    • Communication with Professors: Communicating with your professors early on is important in building relationships with them and letting them know about your interests, concerns, or questions. Especially if you are interested in receiving a letter of recommendation from them.
    • Communication with Students: Meeting your classmates digitally may be difficult this time around, but you can always create a group chat and stay connected.
      • Create a Slack workspace for your class to connect with your classmates: www.slack.com
          • Create an account, download the app on your phone or continue on your web browser.
  3. Create a Campus Atmosphere 
    • Creating a space in your home to keep you focused on your studies is the best thing to do. This may be difficult because of the limited space there may be available. Below are some tips to help
      • Stay off your bed and find a table and chair and study there.
      • Talk to the people that you live with about your Zoom class schedule and create boundaries so that they respect your learning process.
  4. Studying Schedule 
  5. Motivation  
    • Tuning into Zoom lectures can be unmotivating, but try to be present during these lectures so that you do not fall behind!
      • Take notes
      • Reflect
      • Write down your goals
      • Keep a journal