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Transfer students share pros, cons of being at a new school

Psychology junior Sarah Aguilar said that the first week after transferring was “probably the hardest time in my life.” | Donna Keeya/The Cougar

While some transfer students may have an easy transition from a different school, others may struggle adjusting to their new environment.  

Some students may experience transfer shock, a possible side effect that includes experiencing a drop in GPA during their first or second semester after transferring. 

My first week here was probably the hardest time in my life,” said psychology junior Sarah Aguilar. “For most of my life I have lived in a six-person household, so coming here and having my own room was the weirdest and hardest thing I have gone through so far in my life.”

There are more than 4,600 transfer students from two or four-year institutions at the University this fall, according to President Renu Khator’s Fall 2019 Address.

Students consider transferring for many different reasons, whether it is academic or personal. For Aguilar, it was to be closer to loved ones.

“Part of (transferring) was due to my boyfriend being here. He is probably the main reason that I am even in college,” Aguilar said. “The other reason is because my step dad lives in Houston, so I get to hang out with him on weekends.”

While admissions requirements vary from school to school and major to major, at UH transfer student requirements depend on the amount of college credit hours.

Students with 0-14 college credit hours must meet freshman admission standards. Students with 15-29 college credit hours must have at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA.

Even if a student is admitted to the University, that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be accepted into their major.

Some students feel that transferring schools has significantly increased their quality of life and are pleased with their decision to attend UH. Aguilar said that Houston’s variety of dining options have been an appreciated benefit. 

I absolutely love the different foods that Houston has to offer,” Aguilar said. “It is so expensive though, so I’m going to have to calm down on spending.”

Journalism and music freshman Olivia Vargas said that applying to different schools while balancing other responsibilities can be a burden. 

“It impacts me not daily but perhaps weekly,” said Vargas. “Now I have to also fill and seek out new college applications on top of all my other school work, which has created a lot of stress for me.”

Students looking to transfer often seek out resources or a lifestyle that is not readily available at their current school.

“There are some things, like student population size, location, and even class rigor that just don’t align with what I wanted from my college experience,” Vargas said.

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