So, I’ve been at Wellesley for almost two months now and I am for the most part satisfied with my experience thus far. No school is perfect and no matter how much you think the fit is going to be 100% when you visit with your parents over break, there will always be aspects of the school that make you want to scream. The “college experience” is not for everyone regardless of the academic and vocational advantages of attending.
Here are some issues I’ve encountered as a transfer in the first couple months:
1. The extracurricular options in suburban Massachusetts are very different from the extracurricular options in the city. As one who does not prefer clubs, I have significantly decreased access to city organizations and am mostly confined to the activities that go on at Wellesley. MIT provides entertainment, but to commit to an organization multiple times per week is no easy task.
2. Starting over building new relationships with professors and finding new mentors is not fun. I’ve basically lost one whole year of foundation when it comes to the relationships I was building with some of the pre-med advisors, my prior research mentor, and some departmental professors at my prior school. This means I have two(ish) years to cultivate new relationships in order to obtain rec letters for post-undergraduate fellowships, internships, and graduate school apps.
3. Making friends for the umpteenth time does not get any less awkward and in fact starts to get a little old. I’ll be honest. I’m not a super people person, but I do like to surround myself with passionate interesting individuals. That being said, creating a new social life is a huge part of starting over and establishing a new network on campus.
4. No matter where you transfer, you will inevitably have to get used to a very different academic culture. This can be applied to grading, course progression, format of tests, and a plethora of other things. One of the biggest transitions for me was getting used to having 70 minute class periods instead of 50 minute ones. Another was the fact that Wellesley doesn’t believe in multiple choice exams and there are no TA-lead discussion sections.
5. You may come to the realization that your new school does not satisfy your every desire. There may be times when you either regret your choice of transfer schools or you may regret not applying to more schools. At those times, you need to just sit back, relax, and realize that it’s just college. It’s just one minuscule part of your life that really won’t meant too much in the end.