What I wish I had known my first semester at COD: a transfer student’s story


Courtesy of COD Love Your Melon Crew.

Club members visited Loyola Hospital dressed as superheroes, handing out beanies to children battling cancer.

Alison Pfaff, Head Photo Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I transferred to College of DuPage second semester of my freshman year. This was spring of 2017. If there is one thing I learned that I can advise to a transfer student, is that while it may be difficult to find friends in the beginning, you WILL find them eventually.

You may think that the transfer to COD from a four-year institution is a “downgrade,” but I can assure you that is far from the truth. I went into COD thinking I wouldn’t be able to make friends and that my entire college experience would be going straight from classes to my car. That first semester, that is exactly what it was. I was miserable.

While I did well in my classes, something was missing – being active in the COD community.

Near the end of my first semester at COD, I approached a table behind Starbucks. It was a promotional table for a club on campus, Love Your Melon. I learned the club promoted an apparel brand that donates half the proceeds to pediatric cancer research and charities. This was the first club I joined, and I am still in it to this day.

After joining this club, I felt like I belonged somewhere. Maybe COD was more than just a commuter school with awful parking.  Looking back, I am so glad I took that step in asking questions about what is offered at COD.

Opportunities to get involved may not fall into your lap; you may have to search. While COD does not have the same community as a four-year school with students living on campus, it has given me valuable experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise received so early in my college career, such as being the Head Photo Editor for the Courier.  Without actively looking for ways to be involved, I probably would not be writing this piece for the paper you hold in your hands right now, or seeing on your screen. I wouldn’t be greeting students as an NSO leader, and my college experience would have been pretty boring, honestly. If you want to enjoy your college experience, don’t think of COD as just a place to take classes and leave. Explore the campus, and see what COD can offer you as a student, as well as a community member.

For more information on clubs offered at COD, see page 6 in the Spring 2019 Orientation issue.