Long Beach State: “GO BEACH!”


This is a “statue” that greets you upon arriving at Cal State Long Beach. It is the school’s slogan and everyone knows it!

This interview for me was really eye-opening for me. I knew my brother was really smart and worked hard in school, but I didn’t know that he went through some of these things during his transition from high school to college, or college to university. I found his story really interesting and I liked hearing how he felt at times. Him overcoming his struggles made me admire him for it. This actually makes me want to work hard in school so I can follow in his footsteps in the near future. After this interview, one thing I am going to keep doing is checking up on him to see how he is doing and how school is going for him. 



Zytlali Vidal: My name is Zytlali Vidal, and for this project I decided to interview my brother Brian. I had a few different topics that I wanted to talk about with him, but I ended up choosing the topic of college and some of his experiences during his time there. I had a bit of trouble coming up with some questions that I could ask him so I asked my sister to help me with maybe one or two questions that were asked during this interview. 
ZV: One of the first questions i asked my brother was “How do you feel about being the first person to go to college in our family?” I asked this question because I wanted to know how he felt about it. 
BV: It feels great, but it makes me nervous because I have to really give it my all now, as I don’t want to disappoint my family. My parents are always telling me to do good in school to get somewhere in life, so I’m trying to live up to those expectations. There’s that, and there’s also the fact that I’m setting the example for you and Bianca now.
 [When hearing this I felt as if I understood him more and knew how he feels about being the first person in our family to attend college] 
ZV: Do you feel pressure because of it, yes or no and why?
 BV: As I mentioned already, i feel a bit of pressure but that pressure seems to be going away the closer I get to graduating and finishing school.
 [Through this question I learned that he felt pressure and was capable of controlling the stress/pressure he felt throughout his first few years]
ZV: What has been your hardest transition from high school to college?
 [I wanted to ask him this question because many students struggle when transitioning from high school to college and I just wanted to see if he had struggles during that transition] 
BV: I don’t think I had a hard time transitioning from high school into college. If anything, the only thing that I didn’t like was the fact that some of my high school teachers would say that they were trying to prepare us for college, so that is why they were tough on us. This puts so much pressure on us as students, and that can cause us to fail.
 ZV: In your first year did you know what you were planning to major in? 
BV: I had no idea what I wanted to major in when I first started attending college. I thought I wanted to major in Nursing, then I wanted to be a Physician’s Assistant, I wanted to major in Biology, and it went on like that for a good while. While doing my pre-requisites I think I went through like 10 different major changes, but ultimately I ended up deciding to major in Communication Studies. I came to this decision during my last semester of community college and now I am studying this at Cal State Long Beach. Go Beach!
 [I feel like this is what many first year college students deal with because many of them think that they have to have a major right away. Even my sister, a high school student, still doesn’t have a clear vision of what she wants to major in]
ZV: Was your freshman year how you expected it to be? [I asked this question because many people have expectations of how their freshman year of college is going to be, and many people have very different expectations and a few of their expectations are exceeded and some are not. So I wanted to know if his were] 
BV: I didn’t know what to expect when I first entered college, to be completely honest. Every one of my counselors and teachers in high school kept saying that college was tough, that we needed to really step it up, etc, so I guess i kind of expected it to be tough, but it was fairly easy, surprisingly enough.
 ZV: How was your transition from community college to a university?
BV: It was HORRIBLE. Horrible because I transferred in the middle of this whole Coronavirus thing, and now all of my classes are online. I didn’t get to step foot in my new campus once, and I won’t be able to until Fall of 2021! I know that nobody asked for this, but this whole online thing isn’t for me. Everything feels rushed and I feel like I’m not learning anything. We’ll see how this next year goes though. 
[This gives us the point of view of a transfer student on his first year of university after graduating community college and it being during the pandemic and him not being able to fully experience his first year]
ZV: Did you ever feel like an outsider?
BV: During my time in community college I didn’t feel like an outsider. I didn’t really try making friends because I was always focused on my studies and getting good grades, but once I’m able to go back on campus at LB I’m going to have more school spirit to make my time there worth it.
[Final question]
ZV: What has been your biggest motivation? [I really wanted to ask this question because many students continue school because they have something or someone that motivates them] 
BV: My parents. They gave me just about everything that I have in life, so I feel like this is the least that I can do for them, go to college and make something of myself. I want to be able to give back to them as a way of saying thank you.