#CYPossibilities: Karen Lopez, NorCal College Tour

Cypress College Puente, Legacy, and Honors program students had the opportunity to go on a three-day Northern California college tour last Thursday, April 20 to Saturday, April 22. The trip helped to familiarize them with other colleges in the state, as well as inspire them to consider transfer colleges not just based on proximity to home. The students visited four Central and Northern California public university campuses—the University of California, Santa Barbara; San Jose State University; the University of California, Davis; and the University of California, Berkeley—and the California State Capitol on a trip that also gave them the opportunity to see and experience other parts of the state.

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Karen Lopez, Puente Program Class 21
Plans to double major in psychology and English
Hopes to transfer to a UC or CSU after graduating from Cypress College

I had never considered moving out of the comfort of my hometown to go to school more than two hours from home, but since coming back from this Northern California campus trip, I realize I have more options and opportunities than I thought I had before. On this trip, we visited four different campuses and listened to students talk about their experiences adjusting to being away from home to further their education and learned about different resources each campus provides for their students.

One of the campuses I really loved was at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As we were touring the university, I could imagine myself there as a student. The campus was absolutely beautiful and it was near a beach. I personally have never been a fan of the beach, but just thinking about the peaceful environment and how calming the sound of the ocean is makes me think it would be a great way to study for exams and work on homework for classes.

The Puente Program has been a great help for me in many ways. It has given me a direction to what classes I need to get and get me to my end goal of graduating from Cypress and transferring to earn my bachelor’s degree. The program has also given me a support family within my peers in class. When I am struggling with an assignment my friends in the program are cheering me on and giving me the right motivation to keep on going and persevere.

I want to double major in psychology and English, but still do not know where I want to transfer to. I had my mind set on transferring to a California State University—either Long Beach or Fullerton—but since coming back from this trip, I realized that I don’t need to settle for universities that are close to home. Now I am considering applying to the University of California, Davis or University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as the California State Universities I mentioned before.

Overall, this trip was an eye-opener. I am thankful for the opportunities it has given me. My educational journey is just beginning, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.