New Kids on Campus: Intro

Transfer student Jessica Martinez, at her graduation from El Camino College

“So proud of you!”

“This is amazing!”

“Congrats. I know that’s where you wanted to be.”

“You HAVE to go to NYU. You can make all your ‘Gossip Girl’ dreams come true!”  

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With messages like these, it was clear my friends were more excited than I was when I posted about my acceptance to NYU last May. I had wanted to come to NYU for years, but even weeks after I discovered I got in, I hadn’t committed. I was seriously considering Boston University and spent weeks weighing the pros and cons, talking to friends from both schools and researching them every night.

I got my acceptance to NYU two days before my graduation from a two-year community college in Los Angeles. El Camino College provides a different experience for all 25,000 students, and I cannot be more appreciative of my time there. I was fortunate enough to report big stories for the student newspaper, take classes with incredibly intelligent professors and make friends whom I still talk to every day.

I was the kind of transfer student who was completely enamored with her previous college. I was sad about leaving, but I’m now the biggest advocate of transferring. I think I really grew in my time at a community college before coming to a top university like NYU, where I’m continuing to grow. Here, I’m able to keep up with and occasionally surpass my peers because of the training I received at El Camino.

In August, I moved into my dorm without knowing a single person in New York. Last semester, I mostly ate alone in the dining halls. I didn’t yet have a good group of friends here. As much as I fantasized about NYU as a high schooler, there were a handful of times I wanted to leave my dream and go home to my “real” friends. But, as you’ve probably guessed, there was a silver lining: since then, I really, truly found myself (and friends) since then and I’m flourishing and loving the experiences I’m having.

According to Amber Lodman, a program administrator in the Student Resource Center working with Transfer and Commuter program, between 600 to 620 students transfer to NYU each fall, while an additional 380 to 400 transfer the following spring. Yet, as a transfer student myself, I couldn’t help but notice I heard very little about these statistics the past two semesters.

Every transfer student has a story worth listening to about how they ended up at NYU. For some, like me, it was a dream years in the making. For others, it happened almost purely by happenstance. Because of this, WSN is launching a series called “New Kids on Campus” that will profile a transfer student each week.

My hope is that incoming and current transfer students will read these stories and relate to the experiences. To all my fellow transfer students — we’re in it together.

Email Jessica Martinez at [email protected]

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