Haley Steele

Haley Steele.jpg

California State University, Monterey Bay/California State University, Stanislaus

Gregori Class of 2015


Weighted GPA at Gregori: 3.5 to 3.9

SAT Composite Score (2400 Scale): N/A

SAT Composite Score (1600 Scale): N/A

ACT Composite Score: N/A

When choosing between colleges, how did you decide amongst the colleges that you were accepted into?

Location was something that was really important to me. I have always wanted to live by the beach and that is what ultimately what made my decision. All of the schools I was accepted into had my major and other things I wanted and needed, but not all of them were on, or near, the beach.

What would you personally say are your school's strengths?

The most popular major at CSUMB was definitely marine biology. It is located by the ocean, so that makes complete sense. As for CSUSTAN, I am still getting acquainted with everything there, so I do not have an answer yet.

How accessible are administrators, registrars, professors, teaching assistants, etc.?

It seemed difficult to get a meeting with my academic advisor, but the best way to go about that is by setting an appointment with them way ahead of time so that you don't struggle around finals time. Professors, at both Cal. States were, and are, willing to help and very accessible via email, office hours, and other arrangements that you can set up.

What are the classes like? Are they more lecture-based or discussion-based? Do you often partake in group projects?

I have taken both lecture-based and discussion-based classes. While lectures are helpful in getting information, I prefer discussions because they provide insight, other points of views, answers to questions you may not have known you have, etc. As for group projects that also depends on the specific professor. I have participated in quite a few. Participating in a group project is more difficult in college than in high school. The reason for the increased difficulty has to do with the extreme difference in schedule, not just class schedule. Some students are involved in sports, internships, clubs, or jobs and those can complicate meeting times. I learned very quickly that google docs was going to be my best friend. Some of my group projects were completed without ever physically meeting with said group outside of class.

What is one thing that you wished you knew before you started at your university?

I wish I would have know how little there would be to do. At CSUMB there wasn't a whole lot of campus life. When that was an issue, there wasn't much to do either in Monterey, especially on a student's budget. It seems that once you have seen it all once, then that is it. As for CSUSTAN, I am happy to be home, but I wish I knew how hard it would be to adjust from the freedom I had being away from home to the not strict limitation of my freedom being back home.

How would you describe the location of your college? (climate, weather, etc.) Would you describe it as a college town? (urban, suburban, rural) Does the location allow for activities outside of campus? (farmer's markets, concerts, etc.)

CSUMB is about a 25 minute walk to the beach and a 5 minute drive. There is now a big shopping center with food options, shopping, groceries, and a movie theater. The town definitely grew while I was there. However, it is still nowhere near a college town. It is typically in the range of 60-70 degrees. The temperature stays pretty moderate. Because the campus is not actually in Monterey, but in a neighboring town, it is very difficult to do off campus activities without a car, except for the very close shopping center and beach. There is a bus system that students can use to get to places, it is free for students as it was included in their tuition. With CSUSTAN, I commute to and from school, so I don't spend enough time in Turlock to know about the town. As for the climate, it is pretty similar to Modesto.

What types of clubs are offered on campus? Are you involved in any?

At CSUMB there were a lot of clubs, however I was always drawn to the outdoor activities clubs. They had sailing, hiking, outdoor adventure club, surfing, etc. I was in the Outdoor Adventure Club, but due to my busy schedule, could never attend their events. I was also involved in The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and attended weekly club meetings with my friend from across the hall in my dorm. Again with CSUSTAN, I commute, so I am there for class and then return home. I personally find it hard to get involved when you commute to and from school.

Are you able to talk to your professors on a one-on-one basis? Are office hours available to help you with questions with course-work?

I am able to talk to my professors. If I can not make it to office hours, I can email, or even Skype them to have my questions answered. Some professors don't seem approachable, but don't let that stop you. They are there to help, and most of them want to help.

If you are far away from home, do you ever feel homesick? How do you balance relationships with family and friends from home?

While at CSUMB, I did feel homesick, quite often actually. I think that because there was a lack of campus life, I felt that homesickness more than I would have at another University. I missed my family most, however, when I would see that they were all together barbecuing, swimming, or watching movies. As for friends, I didn't really talk to many people back home any more. I made a friend at the beginning of my sophomore year from back home and we got really close, so we made the distance work and still hung out with each other as if we were in the same town. Unfortunately that friendship ended before I moved home to attend CSUSTAN, but I guess that just leaves opportunity to meet some new people.