A transfer's transition

Transferring can be tough, finding your place and finding true friends can be even more difficult, but staying optimistic can make any transition easier.

Melanie Zuccarini was that ‘new girl’ who struggled, but kept her held high and found exactly who she is and where she belongs.

Zuccarini, a transfer student from California University of Pennsylvania, faced hardships, success and lessons during her transition. She is a communication major, with a minor in fashion merchandising. For Zuccarini and other transfers, adjusting to new people, a new environment and a new education can be difficult to handle.

Although education obviously should come first, finding a place in the social aspect can be challenging for a new student. Many freshman students find who their true friends are throughout the year. Zuccarini, being a second-year transfer, faced the hardships in finding out where she belonged.

Zuccarini, in her pink capri pants, white T-shirt and bright smile, was eager to discuss her transition from Cal U to Mercyhurst.

How did she adjust at a new school in her second year of college? Prayer. She always held her faith in God high. She realized that being open to meeting new people was really important. “I made sure to get involved as much as I could, school wise, and socially,” Zuccarini said.

She sat with her hands folded as if she was about to pray as she thought about her transition.

Did Mercyhurst College make it a comfortable environment for her? Zuccarini said Mercyhurst did inform her of different activities with which transfer students could get involved. They encouraged going to certain social events, like cookouts and such.

Zuccarini said being a transfer student, she got a lot of attention, because she was the ‘new girl.’ It was thrilling, but a scary and overwhelming experience at first.

Students, especially transfers, have to focus on adjusting to the academic aspect of school and finding out where they belong in this new environment as well.

The hardships she faced during her transition to Mercyhurst were finding her true group of friends. She met a lot of people so quickly and didn’t know much about them at the time.

Also, Zuccarini struggled with being farther away from home, since Cal U was a lot closer. The grading scale at Mercyhurst was also more difficult, which was not expected.

“The expectations the fashion department held on us were a lot harder than I ever expected,” she said, picking up her sewing kit and threading her next assignment.

Zuccarini is not alone. Every year, students transfer during anytime of the school year. It takes getting used to, but giving it time is what she realized was the key to happiness and success.
If she could give any advice to a new student it would be to have the right mindset. Being open-minded to meeting new people and enjoying yourself is the key to happiness.