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Spring transfers face unique challenges, opportunities

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 23:01

MSC

David Cohen

Josh Gates, sophomore university studies (left), and Christy Crown, sophomore education major, begin their first semester at A&M as tranfer students.

As returning students hit the College Station city limits after the winter break, it can feel as if they’re simply coming home. But for transfer students coming in as an Aggie for the first time, the experience is anything but familiar.

Just over 1,000 transfer students started at Texas A&M for the spring 2014 semester, said Emily Ivey, assistant coordinator of New Student and Family Programs.

Ivey said the New Student and Family Programs office anticipates similar challenges for any student who arrives to A&M in the fall or spring. Returning students are typically ready for the new semester, she said, but spring transfers are still adjusting.

“What really makes it different is in the fall, there is a significantly larger group of students entering Texas A&M, which means as an institution we have a tendency to program more in the fall compared to the spring,” Ivey said. “But we are doing better at being aware of the students and making sure we look at ways to enhance programming for them.”

Christy Crow, sophomore education major and transfer student, said she was “extremely nervous” for the first day of classes, but felt welcomed by both students and faculty.

Crow said attending Howdy Camp, an orientation program for transfer students held before the semester begins, provided her with a few familiar faces to spot in the campus crowds.

“I was walking around yesterday, trying to look for a class and everywhere I looked, I saw someone from Howdy Camp and that just made it way better,” Crow said. “It didn’t make me as nervous because I knew there were people here that could help me out.”

Crow, who is living in the Commons, said she felt a mix of uncertainty and excitement the first nights in her residence hall. While everyone else was resituating and unpacking from the break, she was moving in and trying to adjust to a completely new environment.

“Just sitting here in my room looking around — it’s completely different,” Crow said. “It’s a crazy feeling for sure.”

Julia Sobolik, junior human resource and development major, said this semester makes the third time she has transferred. After finishing her core requirements at Blinn, she said she was ready to focus on her degree and meet people in her major.

“It’s a really relieving feeling to know that you’re finally in where you wanted to be the whole time and that you finally made it,” Sobolik said. “It’s really rewarding.”

Josh Gates, sophomore university studies major, said he had transferred multiple times and is still apprehensive about the difficulty of his classes, University requirements and testing procedures. He attended Blinn last semester and joined an A&M organization, which he said made his transition for the spring a smoother one.

“I’ve been living here for a semester and was really excited to participate in all A&M had to offer,” Gates said.

Ivey said as a community, A&M should be aware of the new population on campus and provide strong support in their adjustments this spring.

“We need to offer advice, direction, encouragement and welcome them to the Aggie family,” Ivey said.

Crow’s said her outlook for the semester is a positive one, and she is ready to immerse herself in this semester.

“I haven’t officially called this place my home yet, because it’s only the first week and everything,” Crow said. “I want this place to be called my home by the end of the semester and then feel more confident about going into the next semester.”

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