The Transfer Student
COVID on Campus: The Transfer Student
Even before the pandemic shut Lehigh University down in March and cut my freshman year there short, I knew that if I got into Syracuse University as a transfer, I would go. I had committed early-decision to Lehigh to pursue journalism. My fall semester, I really enjoyed the classes I took and I loved the people. During the spring, I realized Lehigh didn’t have exactly what I wanted to do and my program was really small. I thought about transferring all the time. I paid to go to college, so I’m gonna want to get exactly what I need out of it. Lehigh just couldn’t do it for me.
Going home early bought me some time and reassured me that I did want to leave. A couple days after I finished spring semester, I started filling out the transfer application for Syracuse. My brother went here and I felt a really strong connection to the school, and I knew that if I were to go anywhere other than Lehigh it was going to be here. When I saw the application deadline was pushed back, I felt like it was a sign that I was making the right decision. The pandemic made the transfer process so much more complicated because it was harder to communicate with the different people and departments at Lehigh so I could get the materials I needed.
When I got into Syracuse, I knew I didn’t want to stay home for this semester because it would make transferring more difficult. The school gave me my housing assignment maybe two weeks before move-in and my class schedule a week later. I live alone on South Campus, which isn’t ideal because one, I want a roommate experience, and two, I’d like to be closer to campus. Picking classes was definitely a very overwhelming process because everything was so last minute and even when I wanted to drop a class and switch it out for something recently, I had to go through my advisor.
I’m not gonna lie, coming to a new school during a pandemic sucks at first. The transition would have been a lot smoother for me if there was no COVID-19. I would definitely have had a bigger network than I do now. Meeting people here now is not ideal. I would have requested to live on Main Campus if there were vacancies, but that’s not happening this semester because no one is allowed to switch buildings.
Adjusting to Syracuse is taking me longer than I thought it would, but I’m starting to settle into a routine. I finally feel like I have a handle on my classes and how to manage my time. I’ve become really good friends with one of my neighbors. All of my brother’s friends have been really supportive and protective by reaching out to make sure I’m okay. Knowing I have them looking after me makes me feel comfortable here and with the whole transition.
Still, because of COVID-19 and all of these special circumstances, I feel like I still haven’t experienced enough to even know how I feel about being here. There have been days here where things feel really rough. But I’m so thankful to be here and I wouldn’t trade this feeling of newness at Syracuse for the sense of settlement I had at Lehigh.
This as-told-to interview is part of COVID on Campus, a series created by students in the Reporting classes at the Newhouse School in Fall 2020. COVID on Campus documents the experiences of students, staff, and faculty living through this extraordinary time.