Being a Transfer Student in the Midst of Remote Learning


In July I made the decision to transfer from Messiah College to Millersville University. I decided to transfer for a few different reasons, but one in particular made it easier for me to make the move: community, or lack thereof. Messiah is a fantastic institution, but while many of my peers found community, I could not find my niche (no matter how much I involved myself), which is very important to me. 


 Initially I was very excited to start at Millersville, despite knowing the semester could have ended up being completely online (which mine has). Once all my classes were moved online, I decided to stay home to save money. My plan to make friends and connections during orientation, floor meetings, and in organizations and clubs vanished. Slowly, my excitement turned into fear. Fear of not being able to make any friends or connections because of the online environment. Fear that there would be no one to turn to at this school when things got tough or lonely and that nobody would want to listen. Though I did not find a community at Messiah, there were still professors and peers I could have turned to. At Millersville, I had none.


We are now five weeks into the semester, and the transition has been difficult. There is no sugar-coating it. Transfer students who did not go to campus did not get the opportunity to meet each other and talk about our experiences. We did not get the chance to settle in and get comfortable in our new home, with our new peers and professors yet. There are still so many uncertainties lying ahead: Will I make friends? What if I don’t? What if this is not what I thought it would be? What if I feel the same way here? Should I have transferred to begin with? 


Being home, away from campus and student life, makes those questions difficult to answer (at least for me). The longer I am home, the more I doubt my decision to transfer and feel uncomfortable with the idea of going to a new place. I still have made no real connections at the university, and it is a scary feeling. I was comfortable at Messiah, and this transition is uncomfortable. I am confident, though, that the way I am feeling now will pass. I will get there eventually. Until then, I can only wait patiently and do what I can while at home. 


If you are a transfer student this fall, and feel stressed, overwhelmed, or afraid like I do, you are not alone.