"At Penn College, you definitely feel like you're part of the community. There's so many opportunities here. So many connections. It might sound cheesy, but it really does feel like home."
Like many high school students, Julie had her eye on a college located hours from her hometown. She thought getting away was what she wanted. After just one semester, she realized that everything she needed and more was right in her backyard.
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Q&A with Julie
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO TRANSFER?
I started at my previous college during COVID and our classes were all online. We had no clubs. We were all sitting six feet apart. It wasn’t easy to meet people. I'm an introvert—one hundred percent. I became really depressed there. During my senior year of high school I had committed to play on the basketball team, but I tore my ACL toward the end of the season. I couldn't play or practice. I was on the sidelines the entire time. And I didn't really get to meet any friends or have any connections. I definitely wanted to experience the whole college experience, the dorm life, the college life, all of that good stuff. But in the end, I realized that’s not for everyone. I was really fortunate to have a school so close to me that had my major and was a really nice school.
WHAT WAS YOUR TRANSFER PROCESS LIKE?
I was going to transfer in the middle of the semester, but I decided to hold out. I contacted my admissions counselor who was absolutely amazing. He would contact me a couple of times a week to check up on me. He helped me with all the paperwork and everything I needed to do. He walked me through all the steps. He had a checklist for me. He would answer any questions I had. He even offered to call my parents because they helped me transfer. I also reached out to my advisor, one of the nursing instructors, and talked to her about everything. You can't transfer right into the nursing program. So I talked to her to see how that would all go and everything looked good after I submitted all the paperwork. Everything just worked out.
WERE YOU NERVOUS?
It was not that bad. It's not scary. I personally was nervous at the beginning because I didn't want to be behind right away. But honestly, in the end it wasn't bad at all. So don't be scared about it. I was nervous, but looking back at it, there was no reason to be scared.
HOW DO YOU LIKE PENN COLLEGE VS. YOUR PREVIOUS SCHOOL?
I love it here so much more. It kind of feels like more of a community. There, I felt like a fish in the sea. Here, everyone is close. It's like a tight little community. Everyone here wants you to succeed. Everyone's so welcoming. There's so many opportunities here. So many connections. It might sound cheesy, but it really does feel like home. And I feel like everyone just wants to help you succeed and get to your end goal and finish school and just be happy.
NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I’m now in my third semester. Looking back, I would never regret any part of this. I tell anybody it's the best decision in my life. There are so many more opportunities here. I'm so happy. I have met so many amazing people and made so many connections. It's what's best for me and I'm so happy with my decision.
ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW TRANSFERS?
Making new friends was scary for me. Definitely put yourself out there. Don't be afraid to join clubs. If you played a sport in high school, reach out to the coach, it doesn't hurt. I've made some of my best friends on the basketball team. And Penn College does a great job of having student activities like corn hole tournaments and roller skating. There was a comedian here the other night. Go to those things. I'm sure you'll meet other transfers there and you can relate to each other. I’m sure you’ll make friends.
WHY DIDN'T YOU COME TO PENN COLLEGE FIRST?
Well, going to college in my backyard was not ideal. Everyone wants to get away from home, go live the college dorm life, all that. But when I was at my old school, I talked to one of my best friends who comes to Penn College for nursing. And I reached out to her about everything, the nursing classes, the class sizes, and how it was living at home. After talking to her, I started making my own pros-and-cons list and the pros definitely outweighed the cons of staying where I was. And now I'm here and I'm so happy and so thankful I decided to transfer.
HOW DID BEING ON THE BASKETBALL TEAM EASE YOUR TRANSITION?
Being on the basketball team was great. It was so nice to have that set group of friends to rely on. They would walk me to classes. They kind of showed me the lay of the land. My coach would help me with everything. They gave me advice. I'm lucky to have three nursing majors who are a semester ahead of me. So they kind of gave me all the advice that they had for the semester ahead of me, all the class tips and tricks and everything. So that was helpful for the school aspect. And for friends, it kind of was nice to have them to rely on. They’re always there to help me. And it's just so nice to have that group of girls who would do anything and everything. They're there for you and you can go out and do stuff together. It's so nice to have such a close and amazing group of friends to go to college with and experience life with.
ANY PARTING ADVICE?
If you're thinking about transferring, don't be scared. Come for a visit. Doesn't hurt to come and see it. Just see what it's all about here. Being here for about a year and a half, I look back and I honestly feel like I've been here the whole entire time. It's where I belong. I think it was where I was meant to be the whole entire time. And I'm so happy I decided to come here.
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