Starting college is tough. It’s scary. It’s exhilarating. It’s exhausting. It’s a thousand things all at once. There are hundreds of interesting new people to meet, and there are just as many new names to try to remember. There are traditions and policies and schedules to learn. On top of all this, there is hope for the future and fear of failure. We all remember the rollercoaster ride of emotions we experienced when we moved to college as freshmen.
Now imagine doing that again with a whole new set of people to meet and names to learn and emotions to experience. Imagine doing all this without knowing there is an entire class surrounding you going through exactly the same thing.
According to Northwestern’s website, between 50 and 60 students make the switch from other colleges to NW on average every year. NW works to accommodate students as they transfer by accepting credits for courses in which the student received a C or higher. In order to receive a degree from NW, the student must take at least 30 credits during their time at NW. The body of students, staff and faculty also work to help these students feel at home as they come into NW.
Sarah Kubinski, a senior education major who transferred to NW her junior year, experienced this very transition.
“I think it is hard for transfers to sometimes find their ‘niche’ in this community,” Kubinski said. “Coming in as a freshman versus coming in as a transfer junior is a completely different experience. I think that finding ways to support the transfers would be worthwhile.”
Transferring colleges is a big adjustment. The challenges transfers face vary greatly based on a wide range of factors, such as hometown, personality and size of previous college. Kubinski is originally from California so she had to transition to life in the Midwest while learning to survive at NW.
“Especially not being from Iowa, culturally adjusting to the way of life was challenging,” Kubinski said. “And of course, winter.”
Although transferring to NW and adjusting to a new college community was difficult, Kubinski is glad that she made the switch and has enjoyed her time as a student at NW.
“When I was looking to transfer I looked for a school that was close-knit, Christ-centered, and had an excellent education program,” Kubinski said. “When I visited NW, I knew that this was the place I needed to be.”
While the transition may have been challening for her at times, Kubinski has found some great benefits in joining the NW community, particularly the students, faculty and staff.
“The best part about transferring to NW has been the people I have met here, both professors and other students,” Kubinski said. “I know that the relationships I have formed here will be life-long. The faculty that I have met are truly invested in me, making sure that I felt welcomed and valued.”