My transfer experience
by Adrienn Miklos
I am a terrible procrastinator. I must admit to this early on. While I tend to be obsessive about meeting due dates, it usually involves finishing my projects at the wee hours of the night previous to the deadline. Let me just say this: this strategy most certainly would fail should it be employed while completing the transfer process. No matter how good your GPA is, or how involved you are in extracurricular activities, not having well-thought-out and introspective recommendation letters accompanying your application, writing a hasty personal essay or missing deadlines will all speak volumes about your maturity, dedication and drive; and ultimately this will paint a picture of a student on whom an admission counselor might not want to take a chance. Don’t let years of hard work be overshadowed by a few months of laziness!
To that end, a supportive community can be the magical jumpstart you need, and the fuel that keeps you going. For me, the Honors Program was just that. Had it not been for the transfer workshops, the amazing opportunity of working with tutors specializing in transfer essay writing, detailed how-to’s of recommendation request, and the help and support of my Honors community, I can honestly say, I would never have finished this huge undertaking. Not only did I meet those frightening deadlines, but I turned in a product that I can be truly proud of.
Time: Yours and Others'
First and foremost, it is pivotal that you give yourself enough time--this will provide you with the chance to do thorough research, perfect those essays and short answer responses, and get all of your documents in order. While the entire process may seem overwhelming, if you break it down into a step-by-step plan, it is certainly doable. You will never regret having extra time on your hands!
Time is also the essence when asking your professors for that perfect Letter of Recommendation. You will hear this again, because it is something very important to consider: admission counselors read these letters by the hundreds, if not thousands. In order to stand out, yours must be well written, and personal. A professor who doesn’t know you very well, or wasn’t given enough time simply cannot write a really good endorsement! Another important thing to keep in mind is to follow up with your teachers' this is something I didn’t do, and it came to haunt me in the form of extra stress right before the finish line. Remember that your professors also happen to be human beings, usually very busy ones at that. They are happy to help you, but it isn’t their job to keep on top of your needs. Aside from providing them with your deadlines, do check in with them every few weeks, just as a friendly reminder. Be respectful, and mindful that they are investing their time and effort into helping you. As a small token of your appreciation, don’t forget to write a thank you note. It is the least you can do.
Be Pro-Active and Persistent
I also found that while your friend Joe, who’s applying to the same school as you, may have some good insider tips, it is wise to be pro-active in doing your own homework. Double check important details using official sources. And while your chosen institution’s general admissions phone line is a great source of information, keep in mind that they are just that--a source of general information. Admissions counselors on the other side of the line may not be knowledgeable about every single detail pertaining to your particular major, so it’s definitely worth an extra phone call or email to the specific department that you’re applying to enter.
If I have one regret about this process, it is that I didn’t start it earlier. When I began my studies, transfer seemed like light-years away. Of course in reality, not only do these two years go by in a flash, it is also important to realize that you only have a little over one single year between entering LaGuardia and the transfer deadlines. And if two years go by quickly, imagine how fast one year does!
Now, if you’re anything like me, the procrastinator, you feel like a panic attack is just around the corner just by reading this. It seems like everyone else is so much further along their process, and there is no way you can ever finish all of this on time. Don’t freak out! Since you’re reading this, you already know of one of the greatest outlets for support, the Honors Program. They really are there for you, so don’t be shy to ask any and all questions, and seek advice on all transfer topics. And whatever you do, don’t let your inner drama queen take over. Looking back, this process doesn’t seem nearly as apocalyptic as it felt like at times. If you pace yourself, do thorough research, and find your support network, you will do just fine. The rest….well, the rest is up to the gods of transfer!