Being a transfer student is never easy; however, there are many changes that Elmhurst University needs to make in order to better support transfer students.
With anything in life, transferring somewhere new can be scary. For me, it was especially nerve-racking transferring to a new college after being stuck at home for nearly two years due to COVID-19. After my Zoom meeting with my adviser there was nothing but silence from EU, which panicked me.
Before I started my college journey at Elmhurst University I was completely lost; all I knew was that I was registered and the start date. While one may think those are the only two things that a student will need, this caused me an unnecessary amount of stress.
There are so many opportunities at EU for students, but it seems as if they are promoted more so toward incoming freshmen rather than those who transfer.
I knew nothing. I had no idea who to contact or how to contact them. On top of that I had no idea how to even access my school email, a problem that could have easily been solved if EU had just told me.
Everytime I saw an event that was happening on campus, I had no clue how to partake in it.
I kept seeing all these new students getting involved in campus life while I was stuck at home, nervous that I would not fit in on my arrival.
Learning about other student’s experiences with EU, it seems as though transfer students are the ugly step-children. Everyone has always praised Elmhurst University, but most transfer students express how their experience was not the best.
Is this just an issue with the college transfer process? Does no one have the art of supporting transfer students nailed? Why is it so hard to treat transfer students the same as new students?
It is expected that transfer students have already adjusted to college life because we have started our journey elsewhere. While this is true, the problem is that we have adjusted to the college lifestyle of our old school, not the new one.
Orientation was an especially stressful time because it seemed as if my entire group of transfer students were an afterthought. While everyone was bonding my group sat in awkward silence, just watching everyone have a good time.
There needs to be a specific orientation for transfer students, you cannot group them in with new students and expect them to feel secure when every discussion is centered toward incoming freshmen.
However, despite all of this anxiety I made it through the start of my first semester at EU. Of course, there were hiccups on my behalf, but I managed to get through with only one major issue bothering me.
As later I discovered halfway through the fall, none of my credits from my previous college transferred over. While I thought I was set up for success, this devastating news caused me to panic as I tried to figure out why nothing had transferred over.
Now knowing the power of my school email, I reached out to ask why. The response? A poor excuse basically saying that they forgot to transfer all of my credits over when I first registered almost six months prior.
How am I supposed to feel supported by my new college when the school forgot that I was a transfer student? If I had not caught this, who knows what mess I could have been in later down the road.
Transfer students need to be as much of a priority as every other student that walks the halls of EU. They deserve the same respect and opportunities given to any other new student.
If you are a transfer student new to campus this fall, just know that you will find support soon enough and that everything will be okay. There are many games that you may want to play, but make sure that you are not a pawn in anyone’s game, you deserve to be treated the same as any other student.