Transferring to a new college is completely different than coming in as a freshman, but I have realized that transfers are not that different after all. Yes, we come in older, but we are just as confused as everyone else, if not more disoriented. It takes some time to get used to a new school no matter who you are.
I didn't know what to expect when I transferred to MC as a sophomore. I went to a community college for a year, and most of my classes were with people I went to high school with. I only knew a few people when I came to MC. It was very strange because I had this expectation of what college would be like because I had already been there for a year right? WRONG. MC is unlike any experience I have ever had.
I had an overwhelming feeling of being older than everyone at Welcome Week. I felt like I didn't fit in with anyone there. Everyone kept mistaking me for a freshman. It wasn't long before I found out that I wasn't the only person who transferred here (shocker I know). I met a group of people who transferred here as well and we stuck together during welcome week. I noticed that the friends I was making included freshmen and transfers. I had to get past the mindset of "I don't belong here" to realize that I actually do belong here. I met new friends and became closer to some of my old ones.
I didn't get as many questions after Welcome Week. I was in some classes with freshmen and some classes with upperclassmen. That's the beauty of college: you have classes with people of all ages and backgrounds. I made friends that were freshmen, transfers, and upperclassmen.
It was a little weird to settle in at first because people tend to make friend groups their freshmen year. Sometimes I felt a little left out, but that's how everyone at a new school feels no matter what year they come in. I got involved on campus and soon MC became home.
I stopped introducing myself as a transfer and starting introducing myself as just Paige. I felt the need to explain why I was a sophomore who people had never seen before this. Eventually though, that wasn't my identity anymore, just like everyone grows out of the identity of "freshman."
Transfers' experiences of beginning MC might be a little different than most people, but ultimately we fit in just fine in the MC community. Yes, we didn't spend all four years of college in the "MC bubble." We have different experiences, stories, and routes to how we got here, but I was still able to find community here and I love MC with all my heart.
Sometimes people ask if me if I wish I would have come here as a freshman. The truth is, I would love more time at MC, but part of God's plan for me was to go to community college first. I met lots of people at community college that shaped who I am today. I also met a lot of people at MC that have helped shaped me. I know that my life would be different if I came here as a freshman and I may not have had the same experiences.
God's plan is different for everyone, but I am so glad that part of my plan involves MC. I started out as a transfer, but somewhere along the line I became a student who has a wide variety of friends. I do have a lot of friends who transferred here because we tend to stick together, but I also have a lot of friends who have been here since freshman year.
That's what I love about MC: the variety, the diversity, and the community that celebrates our differences while bringing us together because we are all students at Mississippi College and we're not that different after all.