My Definitive Answer To 'Why Did You Transfer?'

My Definitive Answer To 'Why Did You Transfer?'

My explanation, because for some reason, "I do what I want" doesn't suffice.
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I've said it once and I'll say it again, picking a school to continue your education is one of the most difficult decisions people have to make.

Originally, I wanted to attend Harvard, and looking back, I have to laugh, not because it was impossible, but because it was a decision based solely on the name of the university (and watching Legally Blonde a couple times) and not what I wanted.

I looked into several colleges, and went on visits to Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, and Aquinas College. Long story short, I chose to attend Aquinas College for the first two years of my college career before I decided that wasn't what I really wanted anymore.

As much as I appreciated Aquinas College and what it had to offer, I felt as though I needed something different. After much consideration and many sleepless nights, I decided to transfer to Michigan State University.

Now, before you freak out about transferring universities part way through your college career, remember that all the time it takes to get where you want to go (if it's what you want to do) is worth it, whether it's an extra semester or an extra class.

Each person is different, and the courses they have taken differ drastically based on the past semesters. Sure there are some classes that won't transfer (for some of them it's a bit of a hit, but others are expected). Guess what? Credits are everywhere. Yeah, another general education class sounds like a bore, but at least it's not all of them you need to make up. I took courses knowing that there was a possibility I would need them to switch over, but for some there wasn't a choice, and I had to come to terms with that.

I'm sure you're asking, why would you put yourself in a position where you'd have to retake a class or have to take extra courses? Why not stay where you are and finish what you started, and not have to lose progress that has been made? Here's your answer:

I transferred for me, for my education, to reach my personal goals, and to do what I felt was necessary in order to get to the end result. I did not transfer to be closer to home, to be around people I know, or to go to a "party school."

MSU has my exact major, not a sort of cover. The courses I take will be more direct and focused on my career choice. There are more opportunities because the university is larger than the one I am coming from. I will be taking advantage of the different opportunities offered, while appreciating the ones I took part in during my past two years at Aquinas.

There were some benefits to going to a college close to home. College is expensive, there's no denying it. Every little bit helps, and you can save so much just from living off campus. I am now on a campus that requires either a bike or bus pass to get somewhere in a timely manner, or time in order to walk to your destination. This makes it so that I have to manage my time wisely. Getting out of bed ten minutes before class is no longer an option if I want to be there when the lecture starts.

I am a person who can't be stuck at a standstill. I need some excitement and change -- something to keep me looking forward to the next week and to encourage me to dream bigger. I am now at a university that I don't know like the back of my hand. There is mystery, and mystery has a way of getting you to look around, find the right key, and unlock the door. I have to figure out how to get to classes and how to balance my new schedule. I will hopefully be adding some sort of sport to the mix, and need to work that in, as well.

All in all, the decision to transfer was mine. It was not my friends, family, professors, or anyone else who influenced me. I chose to do this because it is in my best interest. It will help me grow as a student and as a person.

It will be different, and there will be parts about AQ that I will miss: the friends I made, the professors who made an impact on my learning, and the experiences that allowed me to grow at my home away from home.

On the other hand, there are so many things to look forward to at MSU. There are more friends to make, more professors to get to know, and more memories to be made. I am looking forward to the next two years and where they will take me. One journey has come to an end and this one is just beginning.

Cover Image Credit: Plant Genomics @ MSU

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee
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As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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