Friday, April 10, 2020

Transfer students adjust to a late MSU entry

January 9, 2020
<p>Students walk to the Brody Cafeteria on Sept. 26, 2018 at Brody Hall. </p>

Students walk to the Brody Cafeteria on Sept. 26, 2018 at Brody Hall.

Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

As Michigan State students return to their lives in East Lansing after winter break, some transfer students are just beginning to adjust to their new lives as Spartans.

“I'm still adjusting to the whole college experience,” Cameron Dherin, a business-preference freshman, said. “But so far, so good. The professors that I've met and had classes with are all amazing.”

As opposed to students who began attending in the fall, transfer and spring admits face a learning curve unlike their classmates who have already been here for months prior and know their way around.

“I can tell I'm the odd one out,” psychology freshman Mirela Mamushlari said. “You're moving in the middle of the winter. You don't know where you're going. I know I wasn't comfortable taking the buses my first couple classes … you kind of miss a whole year of the beginning of (everyone) making friends, all the football season.” 

Just as most new students, Dherin felt worried as she got ready to start at MSU before she adjusted.

“I think in some ways I am worried about starting now before starting in fall, but I also did take first-semester classes so it's not like I haven't been in the loop of school, but the students here have been super helpful and super inviting and welcoming and open,” psychology freshman Kal Sochocki said. “They make me feel like I can always ask questions when I have them. And I do have a lot, so it's not bad.”

Both Dherin and Mamushlari also find their classmates that started in the fall to be good resources for settling in as opposed to the lack of resources they felt they got from the school.

New transfer students attend New Student Orientation, or NSO. For spring semester students, this process is set up differently, and some students believe this puts them at a disadvantage.

At the spring NSO, students were given a simple agenda with no exact location or times, Dherin said.

“It was very confusing. And it was hard to navigate. So that kind of put me on the back-burner for starting on a good foot.” Dherin said.

Mamushlari said she moved in from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, and then had orientation all night long. 

“And the next day I had orientation again, so I really couldn't actually settle in until that Friday,” she said. “I definitely think they should have something prior to the move-in day, or even an email acknowledging everything that's happening. And more time, I only had two hours to move in. So how fall has it, they have their orientation and then they move and I think that would be a better route to go with.”

Some students wish they received more information from MSU on what to expect prior to their move-in and orientation, in order to smooth their settling-in process. 

“Maybe if they gave a little more detail on what was going on. (Tuesday), Hubbard Hall had a fire drill and nobody was aware of it,” Dherin said.  “And nobody knew what to do. There wasn't really like a precursor, nobody sent an email to say, 'this is where you go if you have a fire drill.’ So, it's just a little bit of a lack of communication. Maybe if there was a little more communication between everyone.”

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