When you go to college for the first time, meeting new people and making new friends is tough. But, imagine having to do that twice.
Such a task is daunting, to say the least. But it gives one a different perspective of college life and the different experiences each college entails. It is easy to think that every college experience consists of the same things: Academics, extracurricular activities, and even alcohol.
But, what is not so easy to comprehend is the idea that every college throughout the country offers a completely different lifestyle. Of course, there are obvious differences, such as curriculum, demographic, and building architecture. However, there are some intangibles that can only be noticed by a person who has had the privilege of enduring full academic years at separate learning establishments.
I began my college journey two years ago, at Marist College, a small university in Poughkeepsie, New York. Upon arriving on the Marist campus, one is greeted by a picturesque landscape featuring the Hudson River and the scenic outlook of the Hudson River Valley. Objectively, it is truly one of the more beautiful college campuses I have stepped foot on.
If you’re not for the northeast, you probably haven’t heard of Marist before. But, that does not take away the beauty the campus holds. The majority of the population migrates from New Jersey and Long Island areas. Yet, the population is also a fair share of New Yorkers and Connecticut natives.
Born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it is easy to say I was vastly outnumbered. Because I only knew two other students attending Marist, I felt intimated. Despite social circumstances, soon after arriving I made special friendships- the kind of friendships that last a lifetime, friends that I am confident will be in my wedding. To keep it short and simple, my time at Marist was truly a memorable experience and I am proud to say that I not only attended but loved the school.
However, sometimes uncontrollable situations take precedence and decisions must to be made that lead to a better life outcome. After my first year at Marist, I made the decision to transfer to the University of Scranton.
Prior to starting at The University of Scranton, I was apprehensive. I questioned if I was making the right decision and pondered possible consequences. The Summer before my sophomore year was easily the most stressful, and overwhelming time of my life. I didn’t know where to begin. I just had to trust myself and be confident in my decision.
I decided to try out for the baseball team, which in hindsight was one of the best decisions I ever made. My active role on the sports team has led to several friendships, which have made my transferring transition easier. As much as I loved Marist, I discovered that the University of Scranton was a much better fit for me.
I finished my sophomore year confident I made the right decision.
As I reflect my experiences at both universities, I find it amusing to compare my best friends from each school. The resemblances are uncanny. But the striking similarities lead me to my main point- friends could be found anywhere if you just put yourself out there. I wish I knew what I know now back in the Summer of 2018, to save myself the stress and the trouble. I should’ve had confidence in myself and my decision.
With that being said, I learned a valuable lesson- with a little willpower, and self-confidence, any situation is adaptable. My experiences at both institutions granted me an invaluable set of social skills, to not only help me relate to different people, but adapt to different surroundings.
I do not think I have acquired this skill set if I wasn’t “the transfer student.”