Transferring to the Dub: Megan Stanley


Leah Sherrell, Humans of the Dub - Assistant Editor

Where did you transfer from? Why did you transfer to UNCW? 

 I transferred because Wake Tech is a community college which only offers two year programs. I didn’t think two years of school would be enough for me and even as an undergrad I don’t think a bachelor’s degree will be enough higher education to do what I want to do professionally because in political science you have to keep advancing your education in order to be taken seriously. So, Wake tech just wasn’t enough to meet my professional goals; I could have stayed the full 2 years and earned an associate’s degree but I wanted to do more and I was impatient and excited to move on. I transferred to UNCW because this school has really good political science and Spanish programs which are at the crossroads of what I want to do. I didn’t want to choose “either/or” and it seemed like every other school I was looking at either had a really good Spanish program or a really good political science program. Here both programs are exceptional.


What are some of the main differences you’ve noticed between here and Wake Tech?

This is specific just to the gen eds, but my gen eds at Wake Tech were more rigorous. I think Wake Tech wanted to prove a point that they are an accredited school, but coming here from Wake Tech I had the expectation that I would be spending from sun up until sundown studying and that all of my classes would be ten times harder. It really hasn’t been as difficult as I expected, especially since one of my classes last year was the Uni transfer seminar. It was helpful for me to take because it wasn’t rigorous but it helped me prepare for university coursework and gave me time to adjust through the transition period. I didn’t notice a huge difference between the coursework, it was pretty much the same, if not a little easier because I had the Uni class and a yoga class that each gave me a small break from a heavy workload. 

For the environment, I was very impressed. I don’t know if this is specific to Wake Tech or all community colleges, but Wake Tech was socially isolating. People aren’t friendly when you go to Wake Tech. No one wants to befriend anyone or create long lasting connections. You’re only there for two years. There are no solid connections to the school like there are with universities because you go there for your classes and then you go home. You have to try so hard for people to talk to you but after the class is over you wouldn’t see them anymore. It’s strange because at Wake Tech I felt very isolated and coming here I got acquainted with people in my classes, I went to the Young Democrats of America Club and the Beekeepers club, and my roommates were super fun. I went to different events during rush week and overall people were outgoing and friendly. It’s been really exciting for me to see that “wow people want to be friends here.” The environment was a huge change for me, but it was positive.


What were some challenges you faced as a transfer student? 

I honestly still feel this way, but it was more my first semester rather than now. I came in as a second semester sophomore and I felt like the people who were my age were more experienced than I was. I had all these credits under my belt and I was classified as a sophomore but I felt like a freshman because I didn’t know anything. My friend would always say this and it upset me because I worked so hard and I wasn’t a freshman- but I am a transfer student that felt like one because I didn’t know anything about anything. I felt very out of the loop. People had already made friends and created friend groups. They had established relationships and I was still clueless about everything. It felt strange that I had freshman friends who were telling me how to do things like “oh you need to go to this office for this resource,” and small things like that. I appreciated their help- but it did feel strange to be in that position of not knowing everything I needed to do or have to be successful.

I don’t think the transfer orientation was that great because I felt like I was floating rather than actually knowing what I was doing. I felt lost, no one ever told me “here are the resources you have available to you and if you have any questions here’s a transfer advisor.” I had a uni professor but she could only do so much and it felt like UNCW really should have a transfer coach or something. My biggest resource was my roommate who was a senior. She knew what was going on and she had also transferred from a community college. I think without her I would have had a lot of breakdowns and felt really lost. She was fantastic, but I didn’t feel that the university did a great job of immersing transfer students into campus life. It may be that they’re not thinking about community college transfers, maybe they’re thinking more about students who transferred from other universities and have already had that experience but for me, the environment was so different from community college to university. There are so many resources I didn’t know about and am still learning about. I think the university should be a bit more intentional about getting transfer students acquainted with campus life. 


Could you expand on what you mean by “not knowing anything about anything” or the types of resources you weren’t aware of? 

 A good example for me was housing. I did transfer in the spring which is when people start thinking about housing for the next academic year. I did not know that you had to make roommate groups or anything about the contract. I didn’t know anything about the deadline to apply and I went into the housing office with some questions and they inundated me with information and said oh just sign this. So I did, not realizing what I was getting myself into and that I would only have three days to get out of the contract if I realized on campus housing wouldn’t be the best option for me. 


What are some of the traits you see in UNCW students and the administration that you would like to speak to in regards to what you love about it and what you hope can improve about the culture of UNCW? 

The student body is definitely more outgoing, friendly and welcoming than the student body at Wake Tech. I’ve really enjoyed that. As far as the faculty and staff, I appreciated all of my professors and my advisor last semester but I think the UNCW administration could find a way to go a step further to help their students through their transfer. I do appreciate how nice the professors and staff are and they typically take a step further to help you out and follow up to make sure you get what you need but I think, and this is specific to the transfer orientation, that transfer advisors should take it a step further because a lot of times transfer students don’t know what questions they should be asking. If you’re missing out on something, you wouldn’t even know. Maybe implementing a transfer coach who can give you more information and be there to answer specific transfer related questions. I feel like I didn’t have that and if I had a question about something I didn’t know who to turn to.