I’d be lying if I said transferring universities was easy. But, choosing to come to Gonzaga University was the best decision I could have ever made. I transferred to Gonzaga halfway through my sophomore year. Coming in, I had many fears. I had transitioned into a Jesuit university before, but starting over again in a completely new place, with new people was daunting! I was terrified to leave my family, pets, friends, and home to move almost three hundred miles away. Would I make new friends? Was I academically ready to take on college? Could I handle the uncertainties and stress of college life? Could I handle being away from home? I didn’t know the answers to these questions at the time, but I wish I could have known that despite the ups and downs and roller coaster of emotions, it would all turn out fine in the end. I am proud to call Gonzaga University not just my school, but my community and my home.
As a senior student who has successfully transferred into the Gonzaga community, I’d like to share a couple pieces of advice about what made my transition successful. My first piece of advice to a new transfer student is to meet people around campus. Finding a support system was key for me to make my transition successful, and really feel comfortable in my new surroundings. I met many new friends around campus and in my classes which immediately eased my nerves and helped me build my new network. I also was thoroughly supported by many staff members from various departments on campus such as First Year Experience Programs, Student Involvement & Leadership and the Center for Cura Personalis. By getting the support I needed during my transition, I felt empowered to make the most of my new experience.
Another piece of advice I have for incoming transfer students is to get involved, and take advantage of the many opportunities Gonzaga offers. I had no idea what a game changer involvement would be for me and how much it would come to define my Gonzaga experience for the better. Getting involved at GU has made such a difference in my sense of belonging on campus, has introduced me to some amazing people, and allowed me to participate in many events and programs around campus. Opportunities to get involved came so quickly for me, and having the courage to say “yes” to some opportunities is something I’d challenge new transfer students to do. I also encourage any new transfer students to try out different involvement opportunities to see what could be a good fit. Getting involved immediately made a significant impact on my transition and has continued to do so. For over a year now, I have been in the SIL Internship Program working as the First Year Specialist Intern. I have a passion to help new students get involved and feel connected to the Gonzaga community, especially since I was in their position not too long ago.
As my time as an undergraduate student at GU is quickly nearing a close, I feel increasingly grateful to have gotten the opportunity to study at such a prestigious university, with such wonderful classmates and amazing staff and faculty to support me on my academic journey. I will forever appreciate the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met and everything I’ve learned both in books and about myself. The journey won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it. Forever and always, Zag up.
Business Marketing major