From Cougars to Mustangs

The term “community college” has gathered some stereotypes throughout the years and, while some of them aren’t as flattering as I would like to think, students who go through the process of starting out at a two year school and transferring to a university know the truth. I interviewed a professor who teaches both Cal Poly and Cuesta, a student who transferred from Cal Poly to Cuesta, a Cuesta student who plans to transfer next year, and a counselor at Cuesta to find out their opinions. Students who go to community college work just as hard as those who work at universities. Although the transition is tough and the amount of work to do once you enter a university can be more time consuming, you find that your work ethic does not really change.

SLO much to do… SLO little time!

A bucket list inspires students to try all that SLO has to offer!

Two years. Two years? Is two years really enough time for junior transfer students to finish the “Cal Poly bucket list of San Luis Obispo” created by Mustang Daily? Because I started my SLO journey as a freshman at Cuesta I suppose I have a bit of a head start compared to those who transferred from elsewhere. However, after reading the bucket list I am seriously wondering what I have been doing with my time! I admit, I have about 45 percent of the list done, but is that enough? NO. Let’s see, I’ve determined where my local sandwich loyalties lie (Gus’s vs. High Street Deli, I’ll never be able to decide), I’ve had my fair share of tri-tip sandwiches, and I’ve definitely alleviated some “midnight munchies with Mexican food” (Taco Bell counts rights?) Okay, now that everything I have mentioned involves food… um… I’ve also enjoyed my time at Montana de Oro and although I wish I could redo this experience, I have surfed at Pismo Beach. I did it once and can almost promise those waves will never see me in a wetsuit ever again.

My first surfing experience at Pismo Beach. My surf board was called "The Surf Diva" and boy, is that accurate.

The “Cal Poly bucket list of San Luis Obispo” is a really cool way to involve students in the SLO community and to try new fun things that SLO has to offer. That’s my opinion. I spoke with other students to hear their views!

Sean McMinn is a journalism major and a sophomore at Cal Poly and he says, “I think that some of the things I probably wouldn’t do at this point in my career because I’m not 21 yet so I can’t do a lot of the downtown stuff. But, a lot of the on campus stuff and things typically done during wow week are a sin to go through college and not experience them.”

Sean McMinn in the Cal Poly library

Hannah Endres,  a journalism major junior at Cal Poly who transferred from Moorpark College says,

“surprisingly when I read it there was a lot I could check off from WOW. But me and my roommate sat down and were like ‘we need to do all of this!’ So hopefully we can!” Hannah has only been in SLO for just under three months!

Hannah Endres in the Cal Poly library

Moving upward in years I spoke to Courtney Ochoa, a kinesiology major and a fifth year at Cal Poly. Courtney and I reviewed the bucket list together one day at work and I was feeling a bit inadequate (and jealous) when I saw how many things she was able to check off. Courtney says, “I’ve definitely done many things on the list, all of which were very memorable. It made me very nostalgic reviewing all the items thinking about when I did them. It made me wish I did all of them because graduation is right around the corner. Everyone should attempt the bucket list!”

Courtney posed for a picture while at work!

For transfers, there may not be enough time to do all of the things on the bucket list, but here are a few extras that I would recommend even if you can’t finish the other 101!

1. Eat at every place on campus

2. Order a Buzz Burrito from the Breakfast Buzz

3. Call for a late night “Cookie Fix” to be delivered

4. Venture to the Avila Farmer’s Market on Fridays (April 1st-September 30th)

5. Go to the natural hot springs!

Club Sports at Poly

Gettin’ Sporty

2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate? Sports. Sports. Literally any sport that will keep me busy. YAY SPORTS. We all know what it’s like to be overwhelmed with school and underwhelmed with a social life. A social life doesn’t have to be partying or laying by the pool (although both of those activities can be enjoyable ), it can be anything you want it to be; anything that keeps you happy, busy, and interacting with friends. Playing a sport helps students get involved, make friends, and even get a little exercise (which helps when you’re in danger of gaining the freshmen 15… or the sophomore 15…. or the junior 15… well, you get the picture.)

Cal Poly offers intramural sport teams and Greek Life also has formed teams as well. You can play on a team, cheer for a team, spectate a game, or if you’re like my brother Gino, a senior at UCSB, you can referee the games!

Calling the shots

My brother transferred to UCSB from Moorpark College his junior year and says that,”reffing intramural sports is a great way to make some money, be involved with the school, and make new friends during the process. Overall it’s a lot of fun.”

Gino Zanrosso looking very professional as he calls a game.

Intermural Softball

A few friends of mine from work encouraged me to come out and watch one of their games, so I did. To be honest, everyone on both teams looked like they were having fun. There was cheering, laughing, and for a reason that I’m not so sure of, some were dressed up in funny hats. The team asked if I wanted to join, and although I was very tempted, I did not want to lessen the chance of a win with my not so athletic abilities and lack of hand eye coordination (my softball days ended in the 6th grade when I did shadow puppets in the outfield)… and I had to get home to write my blog. When I explained to the team that I had no skills in the sports department the girls all laughed and informed me they were cheerleaders and only played softball for the fun of it. Jordan Mason, a business major in his sophomore year at Cal Poly who plays on “The Soft Balls” says,

“I’ve met 25 new people just because I signed up to play intramural softball. intramural softball has been the best decision of my Cal Poly career.” 

Jordan Mason poses for a quick picture before his big game

To get a little more perspective I spoke to some of the girls on the team while I sat in the dugout (that’s what it’s called, right?) Torrey Hanna, a graphic communications major and a freshman who also plays on “The Soft Balls” says “For me, intramural isn’t about the score. It’s about fun.” Megan Cota, an English major and also a freshman on the same team added, “Sometimes the guys are cute… but that’s a big sometimes.”

The girls of "The Soft Balls" hang in the dugout as they await their turns at bat

I also spoke to some softball players on a team called “People who know Josh” (who’s Josh?), Nico Gomes and Zach Sweeting. Both of the students are architectural engineering majors in their senior year at Poly. After asking the two what they liked about intramural sports Gomes said, “It’s a forced break from school that’s much enjoyed” followed by Sweeting who added, “It’s great competitive fun.”

Sweeting (left) and Gomes (right) after their softball game

Fraternity Flag Football 

As I walked over to the softball game, the point of my journey to the field in the first place, I stumbled upon a group of boys playing football. For journalistic and blogging purposes only, I inquired about their game. I spoke with Michael Lohwasser, a transfer student from the University of Oregon and an ag. business major,he said, “Being on the team helped me find a good group of guys to play sports with. It helped me get to know people in my frat and we hang out to play other sports.” Lohwasser is in Pike and the fraternity put together a flag football team.

The Pike flag football team stopped practice to take a picture

What’s the point?

So here’s the deal: Get involved. Get sporty. You’ll make a ton of friends, get some exercise, and you’ll get a break! Organized sports can be football, soccer, softball, you name it. Have fun and even if you are athletically inept like myself, there is room for you somewhere!

Sounds of Cal Poly

Mapping out “The Life”

McKibben Comes to Cal Poly

An “activist who is occasionally a writer comes to speak at Cal Poly” 

Bill McKibben is an author, but perhaps more importantly, an environmental activist.  McKibben created the campaign and has written numerous books. He came to visit Cal Poly with the help of the Empower Poly Coalition and participated in a two hour long Question and Answer session on Monday, Oct. 31 after speaking at the Fremont on Sunday, Oct. 30. The room was filled with students and adults, some with questions to ask and others to learn and become educated on McKibben’s projects. Cal Poly student, Tessa Salzan, a city and regional planning major in her junior year says that, “I think Bill McKibben brings a really realistic perspective to the climate change issues and he shows how just one person can change the world through his movement (350.0rg).

The Empower Poly Coalition helped support Bill McKibben's visit to Poly and their banner was outside the room of building 21 room 105a where the meet and greet took place.

McKibben is making efforts to fight against the Keystone Pipeline

McKibben wrote a column in the start of his career for The New Yorker called Talk of the Town, and continued on to write books.  McKibben’s first book, which is about climate change, called The End of Nature, was the point at which the author said he realized he could no longer be objective. McKibben called himself, “an activist who is occasionally a writer.” Recently, one of the most important environmental activism events that McKibben is fighting against is Keystone Pipeline which was created by TransCanada.The pipeline’s purpose is to bring oil from Canada to the United States, however, there are environmental risks that this brings about and Bill McKibben is against it.  McKibben says, “we may not win, but we will definitely do some damage.” One of the major controversies over the pipeline is that some are arguing that building it will create 20,000 jobs, however, McKibben says this is not true. McKibben explained that “at best it would create like 3,000-4,000 temporary jobs.” Instead, McKibben suggests the idea of building solar panels on the roofs of homes in order for them to get weatherized because this would create jobs. McKibben said that building the pipeline would not be a good idea whether or not global warming was a factor, but, unfortunately global warming does exist. McKibben explained that “mother nature is now providing illustrations about how dumb it is to let the earth warm up.” He also says that, “73% of Americans understand that global warming is real.”

Gina Whitaker from Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice says that, “It’s been really, absolutely hopeful and positive that the community (both the larger community and the university community) has responded to Bill McKibben’s call.” McKibben voiced to students that attended the meeting that right now “we need structural change” and as students, we “need to act as citizens.” The activist also suggested that students get involved in political things on campus.

McKibben “enjoyed seeing the people at Occupy SLO”

McKibben did not leave San Luis Obispo without being inspired by an act taking place here, along with many other areas of the world. The activist witnessed the people downtown who voice their opinions about Occupy SLO and really enjoyed seeing this. Involved in this as well, at the beginning of Occupy Wallstreet, McKibben spoke.

The group who came to the meet and greet all gathered outside for a group photo. Photo by Paige Thornley.

Transfer Living

One of the trickiest aspects of transfer life is living. I don’t mean living in the physical breathing, eating, drinking, kind of way. I mean living in the “where I sleep, shower, and cook (I don’t count the last one since cooking really isn’t my strong suit)” kind of way. After I finished my last semester at Cuesta I moved out of my old apartment to head home for the summer with no place to move to in September when school started. I began my search in July and didn’t land a place to live until August… that’s right, not even a month before school started. In my search, I tried everything, including craigslist, for roommates. I was used to living in an apartment with some of my best friends so I was being a little bit picky, I suppose. I then decided on Mustang Village, Mustang II to be exact. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine, there are options! There is student living in San Luis Obispo close to Cal Poly. Student living makes it easier to make friends and get to know the town and the places I have listed are good places to start your new college experience.

College kids have options for student living!

1. Mustang I or Mustang II. At Mustang Village, you can be placed with random roommates (like me) or you can live with your friends! Similar to a dorm, Mustang Village provides you with furniture (which helps a ton for moving in). The two are communities of college students, Cuesta and Cal Poly, so Mustang can be very social. There are laundry units, pools, and a gym! Dani Ragan, a math major and a sophomore at Cal Poly, says that “it is easy to make friends” at Mustang I, and “it’s mostly Cuesta Students.”

2. Poly Canyon Village. Poly Canyon is located on the Cal Poly campus, right next to Einstein’s Bagels and Jamba Juice. (Major plus right there.) Liberal studies major, Amy Young, who is a third year a Poly and lived at Poly Canyon her sophomore year says, “as a resident I found it really convenient that I didn’t have to worry about paying for utilities-internet, electricity, water- was all taken care of. So it was nice to already have those accommodations made.” Amy also said, “I was able to pick my building floor and bedroom but I didn’t know the people I was living with and it worked out fine all year. I shared a bathroom with one other person and we even had staff that came and cleaned out bathroom, kitchen and common area.”

3. Stenner Glen. I lived in Stenner Glen, which is a combination of Poly and Cuesta students, when I started at Cuesta and lived with all Cuesta students in my building. I made some amazing friends there and was able to have a college dorm like experience through this student housing. Stenner Glen provides you with a meal plan, a pool, a gym, and a laundry room. Nick Massari, who is now a student at Moorpark College, lived in Stenner Glen his freshman year of Cuesta said, “I liked having my own room and it was cool being able to go get food whenever you wanted.”

“It helped me form my group of friends for the following year.” 

Pre-Transfer Life

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Pre-Transfer Life, posted with vodpod

Tips for transfers, from transfers


Truth be told, I, Brianna Zanrosso, am in the exact same boat as you, my fellow transfer students. As I expressed in the “about” page of this blog there are times when I could use some advice on adjusting to this new life. Unfortunately, I have moments that require more advice that I can give myself. Needless to say, we are all different. That means that we all adjust to situations differently; some are able to dive right into a new place and feel right at home, and some need a bit more time to get comfortable with so many changes. Today’s post shines a light on what other transfer students think now that they have had almost a month to soak in all of these crazy changes. So, if you are still feeling unsure about all of the “new” in your life, maybe these tips from fellow transfer students will ease your uncertainty.


Major: RPTA



Reed has already spent the last two years in SLO after moving here from Oregon and spends a lot of his time kiteboarding. In order to adjust, Reed suggests:

  • “Don’t procrastinate because the quarter system is a lot faster than semester… stay on top of your stuff!”
  • “Be active and relieve stress every once in a while.
  • “Make connections with people in your field and things that your interested in for jobs and stuff.”






Matt has spent just a year in SLO and was able to rush a fraternity from Cuesta. His advice is:

“Be involved. I’m in a fraternity and I know a lot of people because of it.”





Melissa began Cal Poly this year after going to a community college. Advice:

  • “Get involved with as many things as possible.”
  • “Have fun!”

“Keep on top of the reading because it does go by real quick.”

The collaboration of ideas from different students who are all from different places will hopefully help you realize that although you are starting a new school and experiencing new things, there are students going through a similar process. Obviously our stories are all a bit different but transfer students share many of the same opportunities and challenges.