Transferring to a new school is a daunting experience. The whole college application ordeal was supposed to be over, yet mere months after finishing the first time, you have to re-do the entire stressful process. There’s the transfer application itself, the woes over getting financial aid, and the process of figuring out which credits will transfer. Once at the new school, you must familiarize yourself with the new campus, try to mingle with returning students (and make it as minimally awkward as possible), and—most importantly—determine whether or not you’ve made the right decision.
For some students who just transferred to Wes, it was the reputation of specific departments that drew them.
“I chose Wesleyan because it always came across as a really warm, accepting place,” said Daniel Fuchs ’15, who transferred from New York University. “Plus, there’s a fantastic film program that I definitely want to be a part of. I suppose there was a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that I felt, even when I was initially applying to schools during my senior year of high school.”
The academic environment at Wesleyan is inevitably different from the environments at the transfers’ previous schools, a change which several of them have found to be a refreshing.
“Classes are really different,” said Samantha Savitch ’15, who transferred from Emory University. “I’ve come from a much bigger school to a school where I’m in class with 18 people. One of my professors even gave students an option on a project. We students are given a say in our work. [At Wesleyan], it’s more about the learning process than the grade… It’s not about how much knowledge you stuff in your head.”
Transfer students also reflected that they found the social atmosphere of Wes particularly alluring.
“I was at a place that was very fratty—the Greek life dominated the school,” Savitch said. “I wanted something smaller, more community-driven, somewhere [where the students were] more passionate about what they were doing…People cared more about social lives than schoolwork. I didn’t think many seemed interested in learning.”
Gavriella Wolf ’15, who transferred from Scripps College, agreed that the high level of student involvement in activities was a selling point for Wesleyan.
“There’s definitely a more artsy environment in terms of the schoolwork and community [at Wesleyan],” said Wolf. “It didn’t feel like that at Scripps. At Scripps, it was hard to do anything unless it involved taking classes. Plus, they were limited in the diversity of the arts. So unless you were. . .only into ceramics and pottery, it was pretty tough to get into the arts. I just wanted a more diverse community, in every meaning.”
As a prospective Film Studies and English double major, Fuchs is looking forward to engaging in the University’s myriad artistic opportunities.
“There are a ton of things I’m excited to take advantage of here,” he said. “I love film, so I’m going to try to go to as many screenings at the Film Center as I can. They all sound really exciting…I’m working for the Arts section of The Argus, which has been great so far, and I’m hoping to get involved with the radio station.”
Fuchs added that he appreciated his experiences at New York University last year but feels more comfortable with the social scene at Wesleyan.
“Things here at Wes feel closer together and more communal,” he said. “Still, I have no regrets about my time at my previous school. It was great to be in the city for a year; I had some interesting experiences and learned a lot about myself as a person. But at the end of the day, it was difficult for me to find myself socially at a school so big, and at Wesleyan it’s easier to navigate.”
So far, it’s been smooth sailing for these new students.
“It’s so different,” Savitch said. “It’s obvious that this is where [I’m] supposed to be.”