Transitions of a transfer

By Daina Havens
December 1, 2005

This time last year, I was nestled comfortably in a warm place that will forever remain warm in my heart, Chestnut Hill College. With the smell of the crisp fall air surrounding me on the morning walk to class in founder’s Hall, I become stuck in a memory of what seems like an entire lifetime ago. I suddenly realize where I am, and my feet drag along the rest of the pathway from behind the mansion.

Why do transfers transfer? I transferred because there was more living and learning to do and I followed my gut feeling. Some embark on a journey far from their familiar dorms and halls to find a better social life, better means for their major or because of financial reasons. Whatever the reason for leaving, it is key to progress in life and make the necessary changes to follow the path of success.

What are transfer students feeling at this very moment? They are in your classes, live in your houses and dorms, and may even be sitting beside you as you read this article, but most importantly, they have a past that they are more often than not proud of and have a story to tell. They have past achievements, they have a different circle of friends, and they lived a lifestyle entirely different from yours.

My colors were red and white; I was a Griffin. Your world may be the same, but the world of a recent transfer student is like being on a ride at Great Adventure.

Walking into the cafeteria during my first semester at Cabrini last spring was an excruciating experience. At my old school, there were giant round tables where it was common to see seniors inviting freshmen to join them, while sisters or professors conversed by their side. I have even joined the dean for meals.

It seemed as if people were in their own bubble at Cabrini. Don’t get me wrong, I made the best decision of my education to join the Cabrini College community, however, when I walked the halls, I was usually greeted with the top of someone’s head rather than a simple smile and a hello.

This may be my own perception, but I do know that transfer students have it tough. One purpose of going to college is to begin defining who you are as a person. For a transfer student, that process is cut in half for whatever reason their story holds, and that first semester feels like you parachute out of a plane and randomly land exactly where you are expected to pick up the pieces, make up for lost time and continue to grow.

This fall semester, a little piece of home enrolled at Cabrini. Jessica McDermott is not only a recent transfer student, but is also my best friend from Chestnut Hill College. I fully understand what she has gone though over the first few weeks of the semester. Now that the title wave of chaos has receded, I see that people really are friendly at Cabrini College, and that I was just blinded by the feeling of being at the first day of ninth grade all over again throughout the entire transition.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations, transfer students do simply just need a friend. It is my turn to reach out to someone new, just like my present roommate, Angela Pappano, did so very long ago.

Now that the first semester is over, I do believe that growth may seem impossible at first, but in reality, growth is the entire process. My colors are now red, blue, and white, and I will always be a Griffin and a Cavalier. If you have transferred, are thinking about transferring, or have been in the life of someone who is struggling with the stresses of transferring, just remember to reach out, invite them to sit with you at lunch and keep smiling in the halls at everyone you see. A transfer student will be smiling back on the inside.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Daina Havens

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