Student Life: Student Stories

Spelman Spring

Student Stories

Josephine Young - University of California San Diego

November 2015

Josephine Young 2My name is Josephine Young and I am a third-year political science major. I am doing my domestic exchange at the University of California, San Diego. Since UCSD is a part of the quarter system, I have only been in school officially for a week.

So far, my experience here has been nothing like what I expected. Coming from Spelman, where I lived on campus for two years and had a roommate, I was excited to move into UCSD's apartment-style dorms. My apartment consists of three rooms that I share with five other girls.

Josephine YoungWithin UCSD, there are five sub colleges, and I attend Thurgood Marshall. As you can imagine, UCSD has a very big campus. I noticed that many students have bikes that they ride to their classes because they do not want to be late to class. UCSD even has a place where students can rent bikes for the day.

This quarter, I am taking three political science courses and economics. All of my professors and teacher assistants have been very warm and welcoming. One of the biggest differences between Spelman and UCSD is the class sizes. Besides my discussion classes, all of my classes have at least 450 students enrolled. At first, I found this very intimidating, but eventually I realized that it is not really at big of a deal. During those classes, the professors lecture the whole time and rarely ask individual questions. They use clickers in order for everyone to get a chance to participate. They also have discussion sections where teaching assistants answer any questions we may have from the lecture. They also use this time to go over key concepts that may show up on future tests. I really feel like UCSD pushes us to do our best by providing us with the necessary tools to be successful.

When professors are not available,  they have their TAs --  usually fourth-year undergraduate students or graduate students -- to hold office hours for them in case we have any questions or issues with the class. Although UCSD is definitely not known for their diversity, they do provide space where everyone has a chance to feel as if they belong.

I have met quite a few of the other students, and I was very pleased to find them very helpful and welcoming. I have not had a chance to visit the Black Resource Center, but during my check-in process, my residential assistant definitely let me know that I was welcome there any time and encouraged me to stop by if I needed any help or I had any questions. I am extremely excited to see where the rest of this quarter will take me as I continue on this amazing journey at the University of California San Diego.