Being a transfer student is never easy, especially with the added stress that comes with settling in to a new school. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Rae Lynn Flanagan is a spring transfer student who is majoring in Biology. (Full disclosure: she is also the sister of The Tartan’s Editor-in-Chief.) She transferred from Wytheville Community College after getting her associates degree. She is technically considered a junior, due to her number of credits.
Flanagan made the decision to transfer to Radford University because she knew more about it than others and has family attending.
In most transfer student scenarios, the student lives on campus and has a roommate, which helps them get acclimated. Most spend the majority of their time on campus, but this is not the case for Rae Lynn.
Her transfer story is a bit atypical for what most students would experience.
For one thing, her mom and brother both currently attend RU. She doesn’t live on campus, and commutes from Hillsville everyday, which is roughly an hour away. She wakes up at 7 a.m. to face the hour long drive, but she pointed out that she usually isn’t the one driving.
“Out of our two drivable cars, one of them is a manual, which I can’t drive, so usually my dad will drive me on the days my mom and I have different schedules,” she admits.
She doesn’t feel comfortable driving on the freeway so getting her dad to drive is easier, and who is one to ever oppose shotgun?
The hardest transition Rae Lynn has faced since transferring is the size difference of the campus. Coming from a school where her biggest class was 22 students, her biggest class here has about 70 students. Also, spring transfers are a lot more hectic than fall transfers.
“It’s a rush to get registered in time for classes, and even then, most of the classes are already filled up. I didn’t have enough credits to be considered a full-time student so I decided to take a music elective with my mom,” Rae Lynn said.
She also wasn’t able to sign up for a 200 level biology class because she hadn’t met the prerequisites. However, she was opted into the class with the courses she had taken at community college.
“It’s hard, but I feel obligated to do well and work hard in the class because the teacher made an exception for me,” Rae Lynn explains.
Another difference she has noticed while being at Radford is how much more group work the professors assign.
“I prefer to work on my own, but it does make some things easier when you can talk to a partner,” she says.
One of her favorite things about RU so far has been the hands-on experience she receives from her biology labs. Rae Lynn feels like she is learning more that way.
As for being in class with her mom, she likes the comfort of having someone she knows in her music class. Her mother is majoring in music, so she has a knack for reading music, which Rae Lynn sometimes struggles with.
“I like that I can ask her questions if I’m stuck or lost,” Rae Lynn says.
Overall, the transition process hasn’t been too traumatizing for Rae Lynn and she mentioned that all of her professors and classmates have been very kind, and getting used to the size adjustment of RU will just take some time.