#CYPossibilities: Karina 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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Karina Lopez, Puente Program Class 21
Business administration major
Hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton or Cal State Long Beach after graduating from Cypress College

The Northern California College Trip was an amazing opportunity that I was able to experience thanks to the Puente Program. Visiting the campuses really helped me see that there are so many college options that I wasn’t aware of. I really enjoyed all the tours we went on and thought it was great having the opportunity to speak to current students at the universities. I have always focused on Cal State University schools because of my major, but after talking to representatives from each campus we visited, I was able to find a major that was very similar to mine at a University of California school.

At our first stop at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I really enjoyed that we visited on a regular school day and were able to see the regular flow of a student’s daily routine. UCSB has a gorgeous campus and nice environment. The modern look and feel to the school really gave off a calm ambiance. The calm and comforting environment really provided a welcoming tone to the campus. I really enjoyed having the beach just feet away from the classrooms, which could provide a quick escape from the stress college life can bring. It was a true honor to step on and experience the amazing UC Santa Barbara campus my friends have been telling me about.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of our next stop, San Jose State University. The environment honestly seemed like a big high school to me. My favorite part of the campus, however, was the Olympic Black Power Statue. It was great that students gave us a short presentation about it because we were able to understand the significance of the statue and how SJSU students were the ones who protested and fought to have it on campus, despite the college administration taking credit for it.

The University of California, Davis, our third stop, had a really nice campus. I loved how it was so big and really felt like a community within a city. I loved the easy access to transportation to the bigger cities surrounding Davis, and I found it neat that it is such a bike-friendly campus. Bike paths are all you see around campus.

The tour at the State Capitol was amazing. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to go into the Legislature room. It was neat being able to sit in the chairs of the members of the California State Assembly. I think it’s awesome how the architects left signatures all around the building, such as the gargoyle on the ceiling or intentionally inserting one tile in the entire building upside down.

I really liked our last stop, the University of California, Berkeley. I just wish we would’ve had more time to see more of the campus itself. It was really cool to be at Berkeley on Cal Day—the university’s open house—but it would have been nice to go on a different day and go on an actual tour arranged by the school.

Having the opportunity to visit these four campuses was honestly an amazing experience. I do not think I would have had this opportunity if it weren’t for the Puente Program. It was also really nice being able to spend time with all of the students who attended the trip. Touring these campuses motivated me to continue doing the best I can here at Cypress College to later transfer to one of these great universities.