Much like applying to college as a freshman, applying to a new college as a transfer student is a long and tedious process. After attending one school for two years, you’ll most likely pick up habits that may not carry over so well to your new environment. Even when going from one State University of New York school to another, things change.
At Onondaga Community College––a SUNY—however, the deadlines are later, the classes have different attendance policies and the overall atmosphere is very different from Geneseo.
At Geneseo, there is a March 1 deadline for filing for financial aid. At OCC, however, there is no deadline––as long as you apply before the end of the first semester, you get your money back. If you indicate that you have a child on any Geneseo forms, you are required to submit proof such as a birth certificate, whereas OCC takes your word as valid proof. At Geneseo, you are required to provide both a high school transcript and your former college’s transcript by a certain date so they can determine what classes you will need to take or retake.
One of the main differences––and perhaps the hardest one to deal with––is the change in classes. Although the sizes don’t really change, content is very different. A Chemistry 104 class at OCC will focus on formulas, whereas a Chemistry 104 course here focuses more on how our everyday life affects the environment. The most frustrating thing is the credits that do and do not transfer. With over 80 credits from OCC, only a few ones count in certain areas.
A math class that was passed with flying colors at one counts for no credit at the other because of content differences. Because I never took pre-calculus, that’s the only class I can take here at Geneseo but it’s also a class that needs permission from the instructor. This is bizarre considering that it’s a required prerequisite to all upper-level courses. As a major in music, the majority of credits received were in music, but as an English major all of the music credits count as 1 credit because of the fine arts requirement of two courses in two different areas, so a lot goes to waste.
Finding out what classes you need to take is also a hassle that wasn’t present at OCC; our teachers told us what we needed and basically set up a schedule for us while we were in a preliminary meeting. Maybe it’s different for freshmen here, but I was rushed through choosing classes at orientation. I had no idea what classes I needed, so when I chose the ones I wanted, I was told to take other ones. During advisement, I had an idea of the classes I needed and wanted, but had no idea how to find what classes were missing from my general education requirements. Of course, that’s also when I found out I needed to retake math––oh, joy.
Of course, we transfer students also have to worry about fitting in. We may know the process, but we don’t know the school yet. I’ve spent break times wandering around from building to building just to figure out the tunnel system that travels from Welles to Sturges Hall. I’ve gotten lost not knowing where I was going in a building; they’re twice the size of the buildings at other schools. There are also so many more groups to join and experiment with at a four year college.
The best part, however, is finding your niche. Be it with a student organization––I found my niche with The Lamron—or just within your group of suitemates, it’s a great feeling.