By Sarah Bransley
I had a unique transfer experience because I attended Parkland College, the local community college in Champaign-Urbana. I didn’t grow up in Chambana, but since I attended Parkland and made friends with students and townies alike, I got an inside look at the town and its offerings.
The first thing you need to know is that anyone who grew up here or doesn’t attend the university is considered a “townie.” Everyone else is a student. If you are a townie, there is a giant black hole in the middle of Chambana called campus. Most townies don’t visit campus unless they work there or attend school. It’s the opposite for students, because everything off campus is foreign to them.
That’s why I was lucky, having transferred from Parkland I know the ENTIRE town. Most transfers come here not knowing anyone and have to start fresh. I am happy that I knew many people here in town already because I didn’t have to work as hard to find people to hang out with.
The downside to being a townie is that I sometimes forget to interact with my classmates. I’m so used to hanging out with my own group of friends that I sometimes miss out on the opportunities to interact with my future co-workers and peers.
As for academics, I would say that the core content isn’t too much different from what you experienced at Parkland. However, the application of that information and the class set up is different. It takes some getting used to because in many aspects UIUC expects more of their students. Many classes have attendance points, they don’t remind you as often about due dates, and they also include a lot more homework and quizzes.
If you are transferring from Parkland, the best suggestion I can give you is to make sure you put in effort towards organizing your homework and making new friends. Many of your classmates already share an interest with you and some will eventually become important individuals in your field of study. My favorite thing about having friends in my major is all the extra advice and help with coursework! It’s not as hard when you have friends to work through it with you.