Almunae talk about moving on to big colleges after Convent

Going to a university of 20,000 undergraduates can be overwhelming even for students from San Francisco when coming from a school of 200. For nine seniors, making the transition means figuring out how to be more than just another person in the crowd.
“I chose University of Southern California because I wanted a school that wasn’t too big or too small,” senior Alyssa Viscio said, who plans on attend- ing USC,with an undergraduate enrollment of 18,000, in the fall. “At the same time, USC is big enough so I will constantly be able to meet new people and make connections.”
Most Convent students matriculate to medium-size schools, which the College Board defines as having an undergraduate enrollment of 5,000 to 14,000 students.
Big schools are often characterized by large, lecture-style classes, making the college experience less personal, according to Dakota Chamberlin (’12).
“At a large school like the University of Washington, the classes are over 500 people for general ed,” Chamberlin, who attended UW for part of her senior year, said. “Usually biology classes have large lecture that is video taped and posted online, with a discussion section at a separate time to learn the mate- rial in a smaller group.”
Small discussion and study groups outside of class can be a good way to meet more people,
according to Chamberlin.
“I originally picked University of Washington because I thought it was my dream school,” Chamberlain said. “It ended up not liv- ing up to my expectations and I could not make a concrete deci- sion by the date to transfer, so I was forced to attend Santa Barbara City College and transfer to
a university that way.” Chamberlain said she transferred during her freshman year to Santa Barbara City College for better weather, activities and a more personal college experience. She has been accepted to the University of California, Santa Barbara for the fall of 2014.
“The classes at City College are more interesting because it’s not as general, it’s more like Convent — the passion the teachers have is incredible,” Chamberlin said. “They know what it’s like to strive and get good grades in order to transfer.”
Large schools, like USC, often offer Division I sports, which have seven different competitive-level sports teams for men and women.
“There are so many events, from football games to concerts to speakers,” Claire Fahy (’13) who studies at University of California, Los Angeles, said. “You really have to manage your time efficiently in order to stay on top of everything.”
Getting involved in smaller communities at large school can also be beneficial to finding a niche, according to Fahy.
“My best decision by far was joining Greek life and rushing a sorority,” Fahy said. “That immediately made the campus feel
much smaller. I also joined the Daily Bruin and started working as a sports contributor, which gave me a real sense of purpose and helped me feel anchored to something.”
Nine million college students are involved in Greek life, ac- cording to USA Today. Fahy’s sorority, Tri Delta, has about 100 members and is considered a small sorority.
“At a big school like UCLA, it takes a lot of discipline to find a balance between academics, extracurriculars and fun,” Fahy said. “Everyone here is heavily involved in campus life, especially the girls in my sorority.”
Getting into activities, such as a job or a club sport can also create a small community outside of school. Seventy-one percent of the nation’s 19.7 million college students have a part time job, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
“It’s definitely a challenge to make sure I’m fitting everything in and am prepared for all my different responsibilities,” Fahy said. “Since I got very involved and very busy so early on, I didn’t really give myself time to feel lost or overwhelmed.”
Going into office hours to meet with a teacher in a class that seems impersonal can make the difference, according to Fahy.
“Though it may be a larger classroom, Convent students still have a strong sense of self and they are comfortable approaching the teacher or the teacher’s assistant and advocate for themselves when they need help,” College Counseling Director Rebecca Munda said.
The variety of options offered at a large school are attractive to Convent students, whether the options students have are more people to interact with, more classes, or more activities, ac- cording to Munda.
“For some of our students, they have been attending a small school all their life,” Munda said. “They want something completely new with a big football
team and a lot of school spirit.” Students who choose these large schools are usually looking for a different experience, according to Munda.
“I’m excited to go to a big school because I want a change from Convent,” Viscio said. “I’ve loved my time here, but I’ve never gone to a school where I didn’t know everybody. I’m ready for that change.”

Madsion Riehle
Editor-in-Chief

Going to a university of 20,000 undergraduates can be overwhelming even for students from San Francisco when coming from a school of 200. For nine seniors, making the transition means figuring out how to be more than just another person in the crowd.

“I chose University of Southern California because I wanted a school that wasn’t too big or too small,” senior Alyssa Viscio said, who plans on attend- ing USC,with an undergraduate enrollment of 18,000, in the fall. “At the same time, USC is big enough so I will constantly be able to meet new people and make connections.”

Most Convent students matriculate to medium-size schools, which the College Board defines as having an undergraduate enrollment of 5,000 to 14,000 students.

Big schools are often characterized by large, lecture-style classes, making the college experience less personal, according to Dakota Chamberlin (’12).

“At a large school like the University of Washington, the classes are over 500 people for general ed,” Chamberlin, who attended UW for part of her senior year, said. “Usually biology classes have large lecture that is video taped and posted online, with a discussion section at a separate time to learn the material in a smaller group.”

Small discussion and study groups outside of class can be a good way to meet more people, according to Chamberlin.
“I originally picked University of Washington because I thought it was my dream school,” Chamberlain said. “It ended up not living up to my expectations and I could not make a concrete deci- sion by the date to transfer, so I was forced to attend Santa Barbara City College and transfer to a university that way.” Chamberlain said she transferred during her freshman year to Santa Barbara City College for better weather, activities and a more personal college experience. She has been accepted to the University of California, Santa Barbara for the fall of 2014.

“The classes at City College are more interesting because it’s not as general, it’s more like Convent — the passion the teachers have is incredible,” Chamberlin said. “They know what it’s like to strive and get good grades in order to transfer.”

Large schools, like USC, often offer Division I sports, which have seven different competitive-level sports teams for men and women.

“There are so many events, from football games to concerts to speakers,” Claire Fahy (’13) who studies at University of California, Los Angeles, said. “You really have to manage your time efficiently in order to stay on top of everything.”

Getting involved in smaller communities at large school can also be beneficial to finding a niche, according to Fahy.

“My best decision by far was joining Greek life and rushing a sorority,” Fahy said. “That immediately made the campus feel

much smaller. I also joined the Daily Bruin and started working as a sports contributor, which gave me a real sense of purpose and helped me feel anchored to something.”

Nine million college students are involved in Greek life, according to USA Today. Fahy’s sorority, Tri Delta, has about 100 members and is considered a small sorority.

Claire Fahy (’13) interviews UCLA Bruins outside volleyball hitter Gonzalo Quiroga for a story she was writing for the Daily Bruin.
Claire Fahy (’13) interviews UCLA Bruins outside volleyball hitter Gonzalo Quiroga for a story she was writing for the Daily Bruin.

“At a big school like UCLA, it takes a lot of discipline to find a balance between academics, extracurriculars and fun,” Fahy said. “Everyone here is heavily involved in campus life, especially the girls in my sorority.”

Getting into activities, such as a job or a club sport can also create a small community outside of school. Seventy-one percent of the nation’s 19.7 million college students have a part time job, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

“It’s definitely a challenge to make sure I’m fitting everything in and am prepared for all my different responsibilities,” Fahy said. “Since I got very involved and very busy so early on, I didn’t really give myself time to feel lost or overwhelmed.”

Going into office hours to meet with a teacher in a class that seems impersonal can make the difference, according to Fahy.

“Though it may be a larger classroom, Convent students still have a strong sense of self and they are comfortable approaching the teacher or the teacher’s assistant and advocate for themselves when they need help,” College Counseling Director Rebecca Munda said.

The variety of options offered at a large school are attractive to Convent students, whether the options students have are more people to interact with, more classes, or more activities, according to Munda.

“For some of our students, they have been attending a small school all their life,” Munda said. “They want something completely new with a big football team and a lot of school spirit.” Students who choose these large schools are usually looking for a different experience, according to Munda.
“I’m excited to go to a big school because I want a change from Convent,” Viscio said. “I’ve loved my time here, but I’ve never gone to a school where I didn’t know everybody. I’m ready for that change.”

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