By Shelby Gabrielle Lopez
As the semester comes to an end, thinking back to the first day of class is scary! The first day is usually a get to know each other day and the first class of Writing for the Mass Media with Professor Bryson was no different. Professor Bryson asked the class, “Who is planning on transferring to USF?” A majority of the class raised theirs hands. With so many students wanting to go to the University of South Florida, investigating the transfer seemed like the way to go.
This reporter got the opportunity to speak to two old SPC students who made the transfer to USF. Zachary Batdorf, who graduated December 2014, is just completing his first semester at USF St. Pete. Luke Lopez, who graduated from SPC in 2010 and then from USF Tampa in 2013, is now taking additional classes back at SPC. Both men let me pick their brains for the goodies on transferring from SPC to USF.
Many students say that they want to transfer to USF, but they never really say which campus; USF has two campuses that are both fairly close to SPC, so how does one choose which campus to attend? Location was a big part of what drew Mr. Batdorf toward the Saint Petersburg campus; he likes that the campus is close to his family and that the campus is right on the water. Mr. Batdorf also says that the program he joined was good compared to other university psychology programs On the other hand, Mr. Lopez says that he chose the Tampa campus because more courses towards his major were available at that location. Also he had friends that attended the Tampa campus and he let that fact impact his decision. Lopez stated, “In retrospect, I should not have let that be part of my decision.”
A major part of college is classes, so how do the class sizes compare between SPC and USF? Mr. Batdorf and Mr Lopez both had the same response. The class sizes are about the same, if not a little bit bigger. For coursework, Mr Batdorf says to apply yourself, and the one word he’d use to describe the classes is “read”. He said that SPC classes are a cakewalk compared to USF and that if the reading isn’t done, passing the class isn’t done.
Batdorf and Lopez also said that USF has more diversity in students and campus life, and there isn’t a lot of connection between faculty and students. At USF the distance between classrooms is greater compared to SPC where classes were close by. Both men described SPC as quaint and had faculty that were more involved in student well-being.
Now that both men have experienced both schools, I asked them that if they had a chance to go back and do it all over, would they still go to SPC or skip it and go straight to USF? Mr Batdorf was quick with his reply and said that “SPC was necessary. It was cheaper, no effort, I got paid to go, and it was a cakewalk.” Mr Lopez, however, would pick a different university than USF; “I would have moved away and enjoyed a more realistic college experience.”
When asked if they had any advice to students wishing to make the transfer to the University of South Florida, Mr Lopez said, “Consider your options and go on campus tours. Make sure that they have courses that apply to your desired major. If that’s where you want to go, then go for it!” Mr Batdorf said, “Be prepared to just take a huge step forward. It seems daunting at first, but you’ll get accustomed to the way that classes are taught.” He always sends his warning to be prepared for a totally different environment.