I still remember the day I received my acceptance letter from Syracuse University. It was the last acceptance letter I was expecting out of the nine universities around the nation I had applied to. My apprehension was building and all that was occupying my mind was the question, “Is it a big or small envelope?” This was the moment of truth and the moment of decision. I had been offered admission at several schools, but was still unsure where I wanted to go as I was still waiting on SU.
The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications had been at the top of my “College Checklist” since my sophomore year in high school. It is expected that one student at my high school from each graduating class attend SU, and I wanted to be that one student. With all my eggs in one basket, I had hoped for the best when applying to SU. Though I had some other options to pick from, I knew SU was the school for me because Newhouse was where I felt I belonged. After endless hours of research and conversations with SU alums, I had my heart set on Newhouse.
Plot twist: I was accepted into a different program instead of Newhouse. I was utterly disappointed in myself. I almost attended another university because I was so discouraged by this unexpected outcome. Sure, I had heard many success stories of students transferring into Newhouse; however, I was not sure if I was ready to take that chance. Newhouse was where I wanted to end up, and if I was not able to successfully transfer, I would have been devastated. In the following few days, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions I had ever faced. Ultimately, I committed to SU and decided to go in as an undecided major.
Two years later, here I am. I’m proud to say that I successfully transferred into Newhouse. Under the guidance of Newhouse advisors, I determined which classes I needed to take to smoothly transfer from one school to another. In doing so, I learned that the intra-university transfer process is actually very simple: work for good grades and stay persistent with your advisor. Transferring into another program simply requires a form you need to fill out and your transcript. Newhouse then evaluates transfer applicants based on their Grade Point Average (GPA). The higher your GPA, the higher your chances will be for transferring into Newhouse. (Visit this site for specific deadlines and requirements.)
To ensure that I had the best GPA possible, I focused on my academics. While it was difficult to balance a social life, I put many of my extracurriculars on hold to utilize my time studying. I created agendas, set goals, and planned study groups to make sure that I stayed on track with my school work. I studied in Huntington Hall during finals week to avoid the crowds in Bird Library and other popular study rooms. Despite the array of extracurricular activities available on campus, I persevered and didn’t succumb to different distractions.
For anyone discouraged by not being accepted into the program of their choice, do not give up. SU believes in second chances and you will have plenty of opportunities to transfer into the school that fits you best. Advisors at each school will do anything they can to help you get to where you want to be. Be sure to be proactive in seeing your advisor regularly. Schedule an appointment with them to discuss career goals– you will be surprised how many connections they may have. Set plans and objectives at the beginning of every semester to make sure that you follow through on your work. Seek advice from veterans of the transfer process. They have the most firsthand knowledge and insight on the process and are happy to share how they successfully transferred.
The Wellslink Leadership Program is a great way to network with leaders on campus who can help you with your academics. This program is open to all undergraduate students and assigns students a peer leader who will work closely with them to help them through the semester.
As a freshman, I was paired with a Newhouse student who became my mentor for everything. She suggested that I hold off on taking COM 107, an introductory Newhouse course available to all majors, because it can be a difficult class. I took her advice so that I could devote all my time to my core classes and could not be more grateful that she was there to guide me.
The most important thing to consider is your course load. Don’t bite off more than you can chew as this is a crucial time in your college career. Any mishap in your grades can hinder your chances of transferring into your dream college within SU. Take electives and core requirement courses– and excel in them so that you can boast the best GPA possible. I am so grateful for the guidance I received freshman year as it helped me get where I wanted to be.
The resources available to students on campus are valuable–make sure to take advantage of them!
Eric Chuang is a senior at Syracuse University studying Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album.