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Opinion

No need to fear: you will survive the first week as a transfer student

Miranda Ailport

January 31, 2018

Transferring midway through a school year proved to be a scary endeavor. It seemed like I would be coming four months late to the party. Everyone was already set in their friend groups that they met during welcome week and everyone already knew all the professors and where the bathrooms are in all the buildings. I felt like I might get lost in the expanse of classes and extracurricular activities.

What I’ve discovered is that UW-River Falls isn’t what I expected. People transfer for all different reasons. I transferred here from Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, after completing my associate’s degree. At my transfer registration, I was glad I met many people who were in the same boat I was. We wanted to take the next step in our college story by going somewhere new, and UWRF proved to be that opportunity.

I went to two colleges before settling into my decision to come here. It’s my fifth year of college, yet I still get nervous about almost all of the same things I was nervous about my freshman year. Will I find my classes? Will I find them on time? How am I supposed to eat lunch in between classes and finishing the reading I was supposed to do?

While some things are the same, I can say a lot has changed over the last five years. When I first entered college, I had no idea what it would take to do well. I treated it like a party with a bunch of people I didn’t know. My classes didn’t go as well as they did in high school, mostly because no one was asking me if I’d done my homework. Five years later, I realized that without my college degree I couldn’t go where I want to go. When I was 18, I felt I could do anything I wanted without taking into consideration the work that I  might have to do in order to achieve the “whatever I wanted.” UWRF gave me that chance.

In my first week of classes, my transition went much better than I thought it would. Every student, student worker and faculty member I’ve come in contact with has displayed helpfulness and kindness with all of my questions and concerns. The help I’ve received made this transition that much less intimidating. My professors care about what they are teaching and as a student that makes it easier to learn.

I still have a lot to learn about this school and a lot to learn about myself. This campus has resources that far outnumber any school, secondary or post-secondary, that I’ve attended. My journey to get here has not been easy, but when I find something as scary and exciting as starting at the school I’ll graduate from, I know I have to do it.

I hope all transfer students are settling into their new school and new home here at UWRF. This is an exciting time! I hope no one gets too caught up in the nervousness and can enjoy the beginning chapter of this new book in our lives. I also thank everyone who has made the start of this semester enjoyable and welcoming.

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