Jamie Taylor: A Transfer Student that Turned TCNJ into her Stomping Grounds

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jaime Taylor, a senior at The College of New Jersey who you'd never guess was a transfer student. Keep reading to learn more about this super inspiring and endlessly successful woman and her experiences and travels through the years.

Age: 21

Hometown: Marmora, New Jersey

Favorite part about TCNJ?:

My favorite part of TCNJ has to be the passion everyone has within them. You can sense a fire burning in each person here, and I think it is so awesome that we can come together as a group and reach our goals. Everyone is supportive of each other and I think that says a lot about our school community in the best way possible.

Favorite part of Theta Phi Alpha?:

When I first transferred to TCNJ, I went out for fall recruitment without having any clue as to what I was doing. I joined Theta Phi Alpha my first month of school, and I was immediately welcomed into the most exciting, fun sisterhood I could have ever imagined! There is such a feeling of family and support in Theta Phi, and that is what I am proud to be a part of. These ladies are some of the most selfless, determined, and encouraging people I know, and I am grateful that they stumbled into my path at TCNJ! Even more so, I love the leadership opportunities Theta Phi has given me. The opportunities, paired with the support of my sisters, has pushed me to new levels, and I am so excited to see where they may take me in the future!

Explain your position in Theta Phi Alpha:

I currently serve on the Executive Board of Theta Phi Alpha as the Ritual Chairman. My main job is to focus on, and keep alive, the ceremonies and traditions that date back to our founding in 1912. I grew up going to a sleep-away summer camp where ceremonies played a vital role in the importance of the camp, so I knew right away that this was the perfect position for me! Traditions are the only way to keep the past alive and to connect us to who we are on a deeper and more profound level. Additionally, my position allows me to serve on the Executive Board and help make important decisions for the organization as a whole. I love getting to serve on this board with 8 other incredible ladies and friends!

Can you explain the Griffin Program and what your favorite part of being a Griffin is?:

The TCNJ Griffin program is a group of students who mentor first semester transfer students. My work as Griffin has without a doubt been the greatest, most rewarding part of my TCNJ career. I love being given a group of 25 students, all with different college experiences and backgrounds, and seeing them bond and grow so early on in the semester. Transfers are a unique cohort, they are not new students and they are not returning students. It can be a very gray area, and it is so rewarding when I see past transfers succeed academically and socially here at TCNJ. Knowing I was able to help them, even in the slightest bit, is my favorite part of this job.

What do you hope to accomplish in you senior year?:

I cannot believe it is already my senior year! That being said, I really just want to take advantage of every last opportunity at TCNJ. I look forward to spending as much time with my friends as possible, because in a few short months, we will all be on our way. I also hope to become more prepared for my future in this last year so I can confidently leave TCNJ and know that I am ready to take on whatever is next.

How do you feel you’ve changed as a person since transferring from TCNJ?:

TCNJ has definitely changed me as a person since I first arrived in the fall of 2016. It has pushed me each and every day to to learn, grow, and become a more active and present member in the campus community. This school has taught me to be more open minded and to say yes to every opportunity. TCNJ gave me a second chance to find my place in college, and it has taught me that if I want something bad enough, I have to go out and get it for myself.

Person at TCNJ that inspires you and why:

Lindsay Barndt, the Director of The Office of Student Transitions, has been the most positive, genuine, and supportive person I have ever met at TCNJ. I met Lindsay at Transfer Orientation the summer I entered TCNJ, and I was immediately faced with a sense of reassurance for all that was to come. Fast forward, I would soon be working for Lindsay and her office, and she still brings that positivity and encouragement every day. It is a pleasure to work with someone who cares so greatly about so many students. My TCNJ career would not be the same without her!

Tell us all about your study abroad trip! What class did it count for? Favorite part? What was your favorite country? How was it experiencing other cultures?:

My study abroad trip was incredible! I went this summer for a month, and we traveled to England, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic! This class was offered through the English department and counted for the Literary Landscapes elective. We spent time studying the works of Bram Stoker, Anne Frank, and Franz Kafka.

My favorite part of the trip had to be the people I met and the experiences we got to share together. After class in England, we would always hop on the train to London and spend the day exploring and making memories. For me, it was the simple things that added up to the big things on this trip. Of course, the food was also a great part!

It is so hard to pick a favorite country, but I fell in love with England and the Czech Republic. I loved England because it was such an incredible feeling to fully immerse myself in a culture, since we could speak the same language. I felt as if I could truly live my life in England, and who knows, maybe one day I will! I absolutely loved the Czech Republic as well because the architecture and food were the best of the entire trip.

Being able to experience four different cultures was an indescribable experience. I loved talking to locals and learning about their country from the insider perspective. Each country was so special and unique, and I am so thankful that TCNJ allowed me the opportunity to experience it.

What plans do you have for after graduation?:

After graduation, I am hoping to spend time traveling while hopefully using my English degree! Ideally, I would love to teach English in Europe or somewhere in the Caribbean. I definitely have an adventurous side, so I am excited to see where that takes me in the next year.