Dear transfer student

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A sign placed outside the Office of Admissions informs visitors of office hours for visiting.

Dear Transfer Student,

Regardless of whether this is your first semester at the University of Dallas, or if you have been here for a while, you are probably not deaf to the talk about former President Thomas Keefe’s abridged programs that would have benefited non-traditional students like you.

You’ve probably heard the objections and opinions about that proposal from students who’ve never had to start fresh or make the decision to transfer to a different college.

When I first transferred last semester, these opinions made me feel like the work that I did prior to coming here was inadequate.

I do not know what your story is; whether you transferred from a university or a community college like myself. I do not know if you’ve worked a full-time job or took a gap year before transferring.

However, if you have successfully transferred, then you have had that disheartening talk with Kay Hassar, assistant to the dean of Constantin College, about the credits you get to keep on your transcript and the ones you do not. You learned that the 9 p.m. class that you busted your butt for will, more than likely, not be accepted or allocated where you would like.

The plan you had for your academic career is not as straight and narrow as you had originally planned. To transfer to UD is to agree to start a brand new journey, and often it is not a comfortable transition.

As a transfer student and a first-generation college student, the decision to transfer to UD was not one I made lightly.

Many of my previous classmates have mentioned that they would never transfer to UD because it is not “easy,” or it would be a “waste of time.” I do not see it that way at all, though I cannot deny that my first semester felt anything other than devastating as the reality of my lost credits sunk in.

My view on the Core has changed after my first semester, because I found the same reasons that I came to UD embedded in the Core. UD is not for those lacking perseverance.

Yes, it is true, the Core is not designed to be a fast-track degree plan. This considered, should we be so quick to discount those who have not taken the Core yet and realized that for themselves?

If you are a transfer student, the odds that you will graduate with your original class are not high, but that is not to say that your education here will be lacking. Just because we have to retake American politics or throw away three English credits to take literary traditions does not mean that we are what our transcript reveals.

My freshman and sophomore years of college taught me more about life than I think any ordinary college experience could have afforded me. Why throw away those valuable experiences simply because I find myself enrolled in freshman courses all over again?

There are many things I wished my classmates knew about me or about the struggles of being a transfer student at UD, but more than anything I think it is important for them to realize that we are students with tangible histories that are not simply from a textbook or pressed from a cookie cutter.

Then again, those who critique us probably have never been told that the hard work they’ve put in will not all be considered for their graduation.

To be a transfer student at UD is to “be your own advocate,” as Dean of Constantin College Dr. David Andrews said during the transfer student orientation last fall.

There is no textbook situation; there is no perfect transition plan. You get to be the new kid on the block once again. Despite this, I have found that if you can stomach the pain, it is worth every extra semester, every extra class and every lost credit.

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