Confessions of a Transfer Student - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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December 23, 2015

Confessions of a Transfer Student

Arriving at college for the first time is one of the most nerve-racking experiences in a person’s life. I would know; I did it three times.

Transfer students arrive with little fanfare. They blend in with the hundreds of freshmen that flood onto campus in August. But these grizzled veterans approach a new year with a much different perspective.

Transfers bring baggage. Wide-eyed freshmen are brimming with the excitement of their first tastes of freedom, while transfers are often hitting the reset button on their college careers. They arrive on campus still searching for a true start to the experience they were promised in high school or by promotional brochures.

This is the situation I found myself in upon arriving at Geneva. It was the beginning of my sophomore year, but my road to Geneva was the equivalent of taking the wrong exit on the highway and not noticing that you had for 30 miles—twice.

My first semester saw me at a Penn State branch that I attended after having a last minute freak-out over the size of Main Campus.  I knew after five minutes of being there that it wasn’t for me. I proceeded to keep my head down and count down the minutes until I could get out. Not a good start.

My second semester saw me decide between Geneva and a similar school that will remain nameless. I chose poorly. I was fooled by a three-hour snapshot that was not at all indicative of my future experience. I wanted a Christian community, but there was naught to be found.

So I found myself at Geneva in August of the next year, one week after telling my parents I had transferred. In my mind, I took the least conventional route to get here.

I quickly learned that there is no conventional route.

I was thrust into an L&T group with about 20 other transfers, and not one of us had the same story. There may have been a few of us who had started at community colleges to save money, but even those students had unique stories.

Geneva welcomes transfers with open arms. When I transferred the first time, I was thrust into a situation where I didn’t know anyone and the school didn’t provide any kind of networking situation to help me make on-campus connections. I didn’t even know who my RA was until I checked out at the end of the semester!

Geneva does none of that. Upon arrival you are put in a group made up entirely of transfers and you proceed to navigate welcome week together, with some special transfer-only activities thrown in. For people desperately searching for others to connect with, this is huge. The school treats its transfers like students with a history rather than regular new students.

So if you are considering a switch to Geneva, I can wholeheartedly tell you that you won’t be disappointed. You will be specifically taken care of and encouraged to connect with students in a similar position. You’ll quickly find yourself part of a group of friends that will follow you until graduation day and beyond. 

—Brett Williams ’16

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