Every now and then, students would consider the possibility of transferring to another university or college. The reasons usually involve res life, all-women’s college, New England winter, isolated location, New England winter (this deserves a second mention for the tropical peeps).
When you first come here, Mt Holyoke can feel like those Tetris pieces that don’t fit together perfectly. Autumn may look attractive when the campus is swallowed by the fall foliage, but once winter storms onto campus, those halcyon days will be over before you can utter, “Never Fear/Change.” If there is one thing I fear/want to change, it’s the weather, next to the flimsy toilet paper.
The school administration is well aware of the low retention rate and has been speculating with the help of the SGA. As Hall Senator, I had the lovely task of putting up a bulletin board for people to release unwanted frustrations. By the end of the week, people were writing on places outside of the three measly pages I provided them with. Some of these frustrations were valid.
- Lack of investment in certain departments
- Distribution Requirements (specifically the P.E. credits)
- Financial aid
- Res Life people and their tendency to avoid conflicts
Others were less valid and more entertaining, like “the school should invest more on lab equipment instead of glow-in-the-dark spoons.”
However, beneath all of the façade of MHC being an all women’s college with excessive distribution requirements, the underlying reason for dissatisfaction is the ranking. We live in a society where prestige and school rankings have more significance than they should, which paves the way for people to feel like they’ve settled for MHC instead of choosing to be here. Prestige was one of the many reasons I stumbled upon while asking people why they consider transferring, and while it matters on some level, it should not be the only reason to leave.
Transferring would only beneficial you if you do so for the following reasons:
- Finance: Your financial needs are not met at MHC
- Second Chances: You want a second shot at your dream school
- Academics: The course offerings are scarce in your major
- The Umbrella Reason: You’re disappointed of your college experience for X reason
In many cases, transferring can be a better alternative, but it comes with a few caveats:
- You might not like your new school, or worse, dislike it more
- There is a possibility that not all academic credits will be transferred
- The adjustment period will be a grueling process
When I asked upperclassmen and alumna about their first impression of Mt Holyoke, many of them said that they disliked the place. However, once they took time off to study abroad or work before coming back to campus, they all learned to appreciate Mohome. One can only hope that everyone feels this way over the course of their time here.
For people who are in “limbo”, torn between being dissatisfied with the school and actively filling out the transfer application, try to get a better feel of the place, and eventually, you will find something you love about the school, whether it’s the people, the classes, the ambience, or hell, even Jorge (the residential duck).
This may not happen to everyone, but if you give it a try, you might still be able to rotate the Tetris piece and fit the one you’re collapsing on.