Alley, a sophomore Orientation Leader, shares her experience transferring to UNE for the second semester of her first year in college.
It’s still all very clear to me; the day I realized I wanted to transfer colleges. I did not feel like I belonged and I felt like just another number among the 9,000 students around me. There was no way I could stay there for the next three years of my life and I knew what needed to be done.
I still remember the very first day I arrived at UNE. I was so nervous, I didn’t even know what to think. Not only was I switching schools, I was switching at the beginning of the spring semester. So many things were running through my head but the one thing that worried me the most was if I was going to be able to make friends. The students already enjoyed their first semester together, establishing bonds and friendships. I did not know whether I would be able to establish any of my own. I had never actually visited the campus before deciding to transfer. I’ll even admit that I Googled “colleges in Maine” and clicked on the first one I saw, which happened to be UNE. I researched the location, number of students, programs and decided to apply. Two weeks later, I received a call from the head of admissions congratulating me on my acceptance and welcoming me for the spring semester. Overcome with joy that I finally had an out from the college I was currently attending, it took me a good ten minutes before reality actually began setting in. I live in Arkansas and I was about to make the decision to move 26 hours away from my family, never having even visited the place in which I was transferring. But I only applied to one school and I knew transferring was the best thing for me. During winter break I packed my things and eventually made my way to the airport. Two flights, a couple cups of coffee, and a 5 hour layover later, I finally made my way to UNE. Transfer Orientation began and ended, and the real deal began. My roommate returned from break, as well as everyone else on the floor. I can’t remember exactly how many hands I shook or how many times I replied, “yes people actually do live in Arkansas,” but I can remember how nervous I was. Day by day my nervousness started to disappear, until finally something truly amazing happened; it completely disappeared. I began establishing friendships, becoming a part of inside jokes, enjoying my professors, and began having a much better experience than my first semester of college. I finally felt comfortable and ready to tackle the rest of my future.
I was nervous, unsure, and questioned my decision multiple times. But after adjusting to life at UNE I realized transferring to UNE became the best decision I made during my first year of college. There’s a sense of family here at UNE and I can only hope you appreciate it as much as I do. Your nervousness will kick in and you may even start to question your decision. But look around you. You are not the only one experiencing this new adventure. Use it to your advantage and enjoy this new opportunity. Think with positivity, be yourself, and be 100% genuine.