By Natalie Martinez
Despite being a CSUSB student, Hope Esperanza, a 23-year-old transfer student, has never set foot on campus.
Esperanza is a Relational and Organizational Communication major and hopes to go into the field of Public Administration or Economic Development. Graduating in spring 2022, she is right at the finish line and excited for a new journey.
Due to the pandemic, right when she was set to transfer to CSUSB and attend the San Bernardino campus, hope was forced to stop in her tracks and attend online classes. She was one of many transfer students that had their entire school schedule changed, and also along with fellow non-transfer students, she felt lost with how rapidly the world was changing due to the virus.
Having to adapt, Esperanza has communicated with classmates through zoom and GroupMe, an app where students can add classmates and create group chats focused on the subject matter. It is within the app and over text that she builds that sense of classroom community and utilizes it to help her classmates and herself when it comes to communication and assigned work. Today she is giving her interview over the phone.
Esperanza is excited for what comes next post-graduation but is reflective on her short but educational time here at CSUSB.
Q: How did the pandemic affect you personally? Emotionally?
A: As an extrovert & social butterfly the pandemic greatly impacted me. When it first hit, I was so sad about not being able to work anymore and being away from people. As time passed, I became more comfortable and found peace in the unknown.
Q: How are your online classes going for you?
A: I have learned to love online classes! They’re my favorite and truthfully are all I want to take.
Q: Does it feel weird to be strictly online or do you feel as though you benefit from it?
A: I feel I have benefited from online classes. It has allowed me to spend more time at home with my family and has allowed me to work on my time management skills.
Q: Do you wish you got to explore campus or get that sense of campus community?
A: At first, I yearned for a campus experience like how you see it in the movies. But, I think everything has played out how it was meant to be for me.
Q: Did you know our campus has a new student union that has a brand new pool hall and bowling alley? How do you feel about it?
A: I figured since it wasn’t in my reach, to begin with, and since I had never really explored the campus, it didn’t impact me as much as it would if I were there. But I think it’s amazing for students!
Q: Do you think being online took away from your learning experience? Has it helped you in any way?
A: The pandemic actually helped me in the sense that it made me want to finish! Schoolwork was something that kept me occupied when there was nothing else to do.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation??
A: My plans for after graduation are to continue to work. I will also be taking the time to explore graduate programs and apply to hopefully start in Fall 2023.
Q: Do you have any advice for online transfer students such as yourself who have also never stuck a foot on campus yet?
A: My advice would be to make as many connections as you can through class discussions and GroupMe. Finding a classmate to help you get through a class for the semester is crucial! Find joy in being where you are even if it’s just at home.