Name: Zane DeVitre
UC San Diego College: Thurgood Marshall College
SDCCD College: San Diego Miramar and Mesa College
Major: History, Sociology minor
What advice would you give to transfers who are currently at community college?
When I first learned about all of the benefits of the PATH program at Miramar, I thought for sure it was too good to be true. There must be some kind of catch. I can tell you definitively, there is no catch, the program really just is that wonderful. It’s like an actual Golden Ticket to UCSD. The same goes for any program with UCSD really. Because of the recent de-funding of higher education, the University has been painted as a large company just looking for money. This is not the case, the people that work here are genuinely here to help you. This is especially so in the Division of Arts and Humanities. We certainly get a lot more special attention and nurturing than the STEM majors do. Arts and Humanities is a wonderful educational option at UCSD.
What was your biggest fear about transferring to UC San Diego?
My main concern was the difficulty of the classes. I had breezed through community college classes, and knew that UCSD was notorious for its rigor. What I didn’t realize is that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure my studies are more challenging, but they’re also much more fascinating and fulfilling. I also had a concern that because Arts and Humanities took a spiritual back-seat to STEM at UCSD, the instruction would be a bit lacking. Not so! I can confirm that the Arts and Humanities flourish here at UCSD; classes are well put together and taught by phenomenal professors. You will be pushed to be your best.
What part of your transition was most difficult?
Learning the geography of the campus was my first major issue. I commute from northern San Diego, so I do not have the same intimacy with the campus as some others might. As a commuter, one of the most important things to me is knowing where and when to park! IF YOU INTEND TO COMMUTE TO CAMPUS BY CAR PLAN OUT YOUR PARKING STRATEGIES IN ADVANCE! The rumors are true, parking on this campus can be an absolute nightmare. Before a typical day, plan out which parking lots are near your classes, and have back ups. When all else fails, put on your hazard lights and wait for someone to show up and get their car. For this reason, I usually arrive on campus 30-60 minutes before my classes actually start. This by far has been the most frustrating part of attending UCSD.
Why choose the PATH Program?
A very superstitious reason actually: One of my professors at Miramar College brought the program up to me as we were chatting one day, then as soon as I got home, I received a call from the office I now work in telling me that I was eligible for the PATH Program. I assumed that it must be a sign, the universe or whatever powers-that-be thought I should be in this program. After that, the list of benefits as I mentioned seemed to good to possibly be true. Free classes? Free books? Free housing? Free field trips and excursions? An internship after the program finished? AND a $3000 stipend at the end? Do I even need to go on? If this program can’t convince people to pursue Arts and Humanities at UCSD then I don’t know what will. This program was the one reason that convinced me to turn down my offer of admission from UCLA, and I have not regretted this choice for one second.
How has the PATH program helped you?
When I arrived for my first day of Fall Quarter, I could tell that there were some transfer students that were grappling with the changes in location, topography, and rigor. By taking part in the PATH Program, I circumvented all of that; I was well versed on how to get to campus, where my classes and resources on campus were, and had a taste for what classes would be like. Additionally, I can solidly say I would not be on my current life path had it not been for the PATH program. I don’t want to blow it too out of proportion, but my current career goals are reliant on the sequence of events the PATH program put into motion for me. I also would not be pursuing a career in academia so intensely if I was not offered a job by the school through this program.
What was the most difficult part of the PATH Program for you?
The schedule has the potential to be a bit intense. I am NOT a morning person and the 3 hour long classes started at 8:00 am. With the drive, it was a bit exhausting. Considering what I got out of the program though, a little lost sleep was small potatoes compared to wealth of benefits the PATH Program affords to its students. If you plan on doing this program, be ready for a couple required events outside of the classes as well. This posed a conflict with some people, but remember that these events are integral to your success as a transfer student at UCSD. Also if you miss events you could be dropped from the program, which would be unfortunate. The stipulations of being in the program will never ask too much of you and are absolutely worth the many advantages this program can bring you.
What UCSD resources do you find yourself using the most?
I can often be found in the LGBT+ Resource Center on campus. There are commuter lounges for those who need them, but I have sort of made the RC a second home for myself. I will also be taking advantage of the study abroad opportunities the university offers. Next Summer I will be doing one of UCSD’s Global Seminars. I will be in Hong Kong for a little over a month. Unfortunately this means that I will not be able to return as a mentor for the 2019 PATH Program, but I promise to send you all lots of pictures!
What tips would you tell future students about the UC San Diego campus?
This campus is large, hilly, and confusing. Do not feel embarrassed about getting turned around, it will happen quite a bit while you’re still learning. Definitely dedicate some time to exploring and figuring the campus out. Also feel free to ask another student you see for help! They may or may not be able to point you in the right direction. The campus is so confusing that even some students that have been here for 3-4 years don’t know where certain things are. Don’t be discouraged! Good luck!
What activities or organizations are you involved with on campus? How has it been so far?
I’ve recently joined a fraternity on campus! Delta Lambda Phi is the first Greek organization for men in the LGBT+ community and has helped me connect to the campus significantly. I genuinely love my brothers and know that they love me. Never did I foresee myself joining a frat, but life at UCSD has proved to be delightfully unpredictable!