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

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.