Transfer Option-a Blessing in Disguise?

Last year I had applied to my dream school, Cornell University, with the hope of getting in and attending in the fall of 2018. Instead of seeing the big congratulations on my online letter when I opened it, I received something a little more unconventional. 


I had been given something called a “Transfer Option.” A bit of an alien term to me when I first received my letter, I later discovered that this meant that I had the option to attend any university that I wanted for my freshman year, and then I would have a “guaranteed” transfer to Cornell as long as I met all of the specific requirements. Although I was upset with this decision at first, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 


I chose to stay at home to attend my local four-year community college. This was an extremely difficult decision, as I was being constantly bombarded with Instagram pictures and Snapchats of my friends packing up and going to their new colleges, while I was still at home. Even though I was sad, I decided to make the most out of my decision. 


I went over my class requirements carefully and made sure to send each of my potential classes’ syllabi to Cornell for review. They approved the majority of my classes, so I was assured that my credits would transfer. By doing this, I was able to enter Cornell with a large amount of credits, a few of them going to my Communication minor as well. By taking as many classes and truly dedicating myself to my schoolwork, I was able to avoid a lot of stress by relieving some of the credits that I would’ve had to take at Cornell. This also gave me a chance to take classes that I normally never would have been able to, such as Positive Psychology and an Advertising and Promotions class where I learned first-hand from CMO’s of different companies.


If you are worried about leaving possible friends or the school that you’re at, don’t be. What helped me was being upfront with people that I would be attending a different school next year. Everyone was always very supportive, and I know that I will always have those friends, even if I had to move away. In terms of the school, it can be easy to get attached. It is important to experience everything that your school has to offer, but keep in mind that if you’re serious about the transfer option, then you will be leaving in a short period of time. It’s also okay to decide to stay at your current school. It’s really all up to you. 


A momentous fear of mine before transferring was also the prospect of making friends. Would me being a transfer prevent me from making meaningful connections with students my age? I had asked myself this question way too many times. Luckily my fears were dismissed before I had even gotten to campus! I was placed in a transfers Facebook group where we were able to ask questions and connect with other transfers. When I was officially accepted, I was even given a link to a website with every Cornell ‘22 transfer. This is where we could write our majors, where we’re from, and fun things that we like to do! It was a great way to meet people. I had met a large amount of my friends on these websites, and I felt comfortable knowing that when I came to Cornell, I would already have people to lean on. Once I had arrived at Cornell as well, I was surprised at the multitude of opportunities to not only meet fellow transfers, but regular students as well. I met my closest friends through these first week programs, and I never felt like I was going to be alone through this transfer process.


I am now in my second month here at Cornell, and I have never been happier. I am attending my dream school, with a year of additional wisdom to back me up. I was able to experience things that I never would have been able to if I had attended Cornell this past year, and I feel so incredibly grateful to have such an increased appreciation for my current situation.


This transfer option gave me so many amazing things that I wasn’t expecting. A new best friend, a head starts on my credits, another year to spend with my family, and a year to truly prepare for Cornell. I do not regret taking the transfer option at all, and I would do it all over again if I had to. The ability to attend Cornell is a once in a lifetime opportunity.