Note: This article is the second part of a two-part series of transfer advice from Mary Sims, a professor at Arcadia University and Manor College. You can find the first part here.
Once you’re at your transfer institution, you may even want to take courses that will help you hone skills outside of your major, even if they are not required, as long as they count for credit towards graduation. For example, I truly believe that everyone should take psychology to help them understand and deal with the people they will be interacting with for their entire life. It is important to think about what you want to achieve at all points in the process. After all, it is your future.
In any event, it’s clear that school is really just the beginning of the learning you will do in life, so make the most of the experience. When you do transfer, if you are not living on campus, get involved in the community. While at Temple I played on the intramural softball team which was actually a contest between departments. It was a lot of fun and I met friends who I am still in touch with today. If you are on campus you should also be involved in activities and organizations that interest you. Doing so not only makes for more connections, but also makes you more appealing to potential employers. Having interests translates to making you a happier, well-adjusted person and that will automatically translate into interesting!
In addition, don’t put off the easy ways to get acclimated to the new school. When you start at the target school, even though you may have done this at your former school, you should go to the new student orientation. You will be ready to start with all of the resources that are available in the new venue so that you can meet your goals and make it a success.
In conclusion, perhaps we should return for a second to the complexities and considerations that go into your final decision making process. So, after you’ve done your research, pondered and compared your options, don’t forget what we alluded to earlier – that is, putting all the choices and concerns on the table: not only the academic, but the personal and financial goals as well. Say for example you’ve gotten into a prestigious Ivy League school. Congratulations! But, do you want to have a large college debt for the next 10 years? Do you want to leave your job, your friends, your parents, your significant other? Consider where you will be at the end of that road, is it where you want to be?
How does one make such a mind boggling decision? This is the time to recall your core values, what you really believe in, what you really think and really feel. You have to know what you want and what is best for you.
I hope this helps and remember to enjoy the journey of moving to a new school or location— it is all a part of the process! When you make your own decisions after careful deliberation, your story will be your own. Best to you in your travels!
Mary L. Sims, Esquire, is an attorney practicing in Estates, Business and related areas in NJ and PA for the past twenty-nine years, and has been teaching at Arcadia University and Manor College for twenty-three years. Her J.D. degree is from Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, CA, and she has a Masters Degree in Moral Theology from Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia. She dedicates her time to not only teaching, but also to serving the community in local endeavors. These include, but are not limited to: the Career Wardrobe (helping women return to the workforce) and Wills for Heroes (providing estate documents for first responders). She works with Rotary International and other NGO’s at the University level to help students make a connection between a professional life and serving others. She writes and speaks on the subjects of law, global business ethics, and social responsibility.