Each semester, Penn State welcomes a new set of transfer students to our campus. Whether they’ve transferred from a commonwealth campus, or an entirely different school, this relived freshmen year experience has its pros and cons.
Unlike freshmen year, when most of us are packed like sardines into East Halls, transfer students get to choose their housing. For most, living on campus is the preferred decision. It allows students an opportunity to bond with roommates and those on their floor, as well as settle into the campus atmosphere.
Some, however, choose an apartment downtown. Most transfer students agree the biggest challenge of living off campus was their means of transportation― the Catabus.
“The most difficult thing to adjust to was having to take a bus to campus. I used to commute and drive my own car to the branch campus,” Ashlee Palm says, a Bioengineering major.
Danielle Dunshee, a Chemical Engineering major from Beaver Campus, missed the bus to class and resorted to walking.
Anticipating the campus rush, she prepared ahead of time. “I walked around campus over the weekend to find my classes, so I never got lost.”
Classes are even tighter packed than the Catabuses. Katie Yeity, Animal Science major, has transferred three times. From Ursinus College to Penn State Berks, she says classes at Main Campus are much, much larger.
“At both Berks and Ursinus, my biggest class was maybe 40 kids. Here, it is over 300,” Yeity says. “I’ve already met a lot of people and everyone here is really nice, which definitely helps in transitioning.”
Danielle Roethlein, Chemical Engineering major, is also impressed with our campus’s atmosphere.
“The atmosphere here is definitely better. Everyone gets really excited when they see you because the chances of that happening are so small. The campus itself is beautiful, and I love the cool walks from class to class this time of year,” Roethlein says.
Above all, it’s extremely important for those who’ve transferred to feel like part of the Penn State family. Most all transfer students find the best way to accomplish this is through extracurricular activities.
“They always say that being at a big school just reduces you to being a number, so my biggest fear would be getting lost in the shuffle,” Palm explains.
“Take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available here because getting involved really makes you feel like you’re a part of the Penn State family from the very start,” Roethlein advises future transfer students.
Despite the struggles of the first week at Penn State, keeping an open mind and getting involved will lead to an amazing spring semester.
Photos by Sam Florio