I want to transfer. The only reason I am at this school is because I couldn’t get in anywhere else. When imagining my college experience, I thought of the big school experience with football games and meeting new people whenever you wanted. It has been a year at Roanoke College and I still feel as if I am being trapped here. I know that there are a lot of people who transfer from here and I’ve been doing the research, but I’m nervous. The INQ curriculum makes it difficult to transfer anywhere and usually causes transfer students to have to do an extra year of college. I’m not sure I could afford that because I have already paid for my first year here. There is a large push from my friends and my boyfriend to stay here, but I’m not sure. Something about being here just doesn’t feel right. Should I pursue transferring still or should I stay here and stick out the next three years?
Dear Transferring Tammy,
You bring up a good question that I think a lot of people at Roanoke College have faced. The first year at any school can be tough and not feel like a home. When I was going through my first years here, I experienced the same desire and even applied and was accepted to multiple different universities. However, after a long time of thinking about all the friends and connections that I had already established at Roanoke College, I decided that transferring maybe wasn’t in my best interest. It takes time to make a place a home, I realized, and after the grace period of a about a year, Roanoke College will start to feel like a nicely worn t-shirt.
However, people transfer for other reasons than simply discomfort. If you want to pursue a major or career path that isn’t offered at this institution, then it would make sense to seek out other locations. There are many students who have done this but, in my experience, it seems like their time and experiences at Roanoke tend to stick with them.
It seems almost as if there is something about this school that strikes a chord in people, whether they realize it at first or not. In fact, I once had a friend who transferred to what she thought would be her dream school and ended up returning to Roanoke after a semester because she realized she missed it. The school and Salem area have an impact on students from their first step onto campus. Maybe it is the close-knit community or the unique location, but Roanoke College is a place that tends to stay in people’s hearts.
If you do decide to transfer, though, there are plenty of options. It is true, yes, that a lot of the INQ credits will not transfer but if you attend a large state school then you would be able to take summer courses at about half the cost of a summer course at Roanoke College. This would help you to get ahead in credits easily and prevent an absolutely devastating fiscal loss.
My main advice for you, I would say, would be to try a little more time. Unless there is something this school is entirely unable to offer you, you could find that this place has started to feel like home right under your nose.
Sue Z. Maroon