by Katelyn Theobald
The minute you walk through those doors you scan the classroom to see if there is an empty seat, or if anyone looks nice enough to sit next to. You are anxiously ten minutes early or ten minutes too late because you don’t know where the classroom is located. While most people know right where to go, you are searching around the campus looking like a freshman--confused and you don’t know where you are going. You hope that your teacher is nice and understanding to the fact that this is a new environment for you and that they might take it easy on you for the first assignment since you don’t know how to work Moodle.
These are a few of the struggles that transfer students endure during the first couple of weeks of attending a new school. Assimilating into the Dominican school environment isn’t easy for anyone, especially for transfer students. Whether you are a commuter, or someone who just found their first place near the school, it's hard to get to know others and to adjust to a new environment. While veterans know the ins and outs of the university, the new- bee’s have a harder time keeping in the loop with events and traditions regarding the school. You are constantly in a state of wonderment as students talk about Mayhem or what the Boat Dance is and if it entails renting your own motor boat for the evening.
There is always room for change no matter the circumstances. Here are some suggestions that many transfer students have in order to better communicate between the university and students: have a student mentor be made available to transfer students for needs regarding school traditions and policies, a separate transfer student orientation, a website for transfer students to communicate with other students about housing or classes before the semester starts and for a way for faculty to know who transfer students are in their class.
For many, these changes may not seem impactful, but in order to make transfer students feel welcome and acknowledged in the classroom, there needs to be change.