Getting the Chance to Know a Fellow Biochemistry Transfer Student
BY JULJA HOKANSON
What life is like as a transfer student in biochemistry
When beginning his undergraduate journey at Palomar community college in San Marcos, California, first-year transfer student Kevin Tidwell did not always have his sights on studying biochemistry. In fact, it never crossed his mind to even pursue a major in a STEM related subject at all. In fact, “[he] started out as a journalism major and I hadn’t even considered this a possibility. [He] took a bio class for a GE and thought ‘Oh this is cool and I don’t totally suck at it’ which was a surprise, so [he] thought [he] could make something of this. [He] really took [his] time easing into biochemistry as an actual career path or as an actual educational path at least.”
As for choosing biochemistry as his major of interest,“I picked biochemistry as my major because it’s versatile. You can tailor it to any number of things within the biology realm or the chemistry realm and it’s a nice intermediary between those two subjects, and I enjoy both of them.”
As for his overall experience so far as a first year transfer, although he is very much looking forward to what awaits him as a biochemistry student and has had an easy time adjusting to his first quarter, he has had an overall difficult time adjusting to the change of pace, as the quarters go on. So far during his time at the university, he has been continually surprised by how fast the quarters go, for it takes a lot of focus to do well in a fast-paced environment. He also found that compared to community college professors, UCSD professors do not dedicate as much time to students as he would have thought or liked. Because of all of these factors, for him, “In order to stay on top of things, I find it really important to stay on top of schoolwork, and so far I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish, academically”.
Unfortunately, due to the business of schoolwork, on top of the omicron variant that occurred during the winter 2022 quarter, he hasn’t had the chance to look for more ways to get involved in the scientific community, despite the desire to. For him, school is a top priority, and because of that, he would rather apply for jobs and or internships over the summer, or perhaps further down the road.
However, despite these challenges, he is hopeful that he will find opportunities at UCSD later on during his college career, due to not only the numerous resources that UCSD has in store for its students, but also his ability since attending the university to network and interact with other fellow classmates, as well as fellow biochemistry students. “Since I’ve come to UCSD I have been a lot more of an extrovert, which has been a very significant change from where I was at before. I’ve spent a lot more time than before socializing and making friends. I’m really happy to be here in the major that I’m in, because there’s a lot of opportunities that wouldn’t be at other places. This is an awesome research school, this is an awesome area to be in for work and careers and establishing relationships with people, whether it’s by internships or work or volunteering or shadowing. I look forward to UCSD, especially to the exposure to all these resources and opportunities for exploring different parts of the significant breadth, that is, biochemistry.”