A year ago, I was in my first semester at Furman as a sophomore transfer student. Looking back, I laugh at myself thinking about the hours I spent the summer before worrying about transferring into a small school. I did a speech in my public speaking class last semester about an influential moment of college which happened to be my first experience as a Furman student. My mom had just dropped me off and I was walking to McAllister Auditorium for orientation. I walked up to the brick steps and literally had a mini panic attack. I realized I knew no one nor did I know my orientation number. I had never been in a situation where I felt unprepared and unfamiliar with everything. After what felt like a year, I decided to walk to the nearest orientation leader and say hi. I was not the type of person to just walk up and say hi to a stranger, but I decided to give it a try. The next thing I knew I had made friends and joined 5 clubs. This is a perfect example of how welcoming the community is which is what attracted me to the school. After this orientation experience, I was never nervous about being a new student.
This isn’t to say transferring was a breeze. The first few months involved a lot of dinners alone or not knowing what to do on the weekends. However, this never scared me because I know friends take time. I decided to come up with a plan for meeting people. Each week I would talk to a new person in each of my classes. I started eating lunch after class with a classmate or hanging out in the library after finishing homework with a study group. Over time, I met people through those people. One of my favorite memories at Furman so far was an event FUSAB did last November. Finals week was approaching, and everyone was getting stressed. There was a FUSAB drive in movie of Home Alone in the middle of the week and instead of worrying about my accounting homework I texted some friends to see if anyone wanted to go. We all hopped in my car and drove to G field. After setting up, there was a raffle to win this huge movie basket. I am a bit competitive and decided to buy a ticket knowing my chances were so low. However, to my surprise my number was called first. I received my basket as Home Alone began playing and hot chocolate was passed around. It was in that moment I realized I was settled in and had made lasting friendships.
In one year, Furman has taught me not to be intimidated and to just go for it. It sounds cheesy, but that is exactly what I did and why I picked Furman. I knew this was the type of environment that has hard working students who like to be involved while also being welcoming. I never knew college could be like this. College, to me, used to be this intimidating adult step that you had to take to enter the workforce where the professors don’t really care, and you have fun on the weekends. However, when I visited Furman, I was taken aback at how you could simply go on a MayX and study the origins of Harry Potter, or find a Furman internship and become a marketing manager for the football team, or even becoming the pickle ball champ of intramural. Everyone has such different interests which are welcomed and supported.
Transferring anywhere is going to be difficult. The process of leaving one school and being new in another is difficult in itself. The worst part, for me, was the credit transferring process and which credits were approved and which were not. However, once I found the right school for me it was worth it. A lot of people ask me why I transferred from a big school in Texas to a small school in Greenville and I always say the same thing: Furman is a better fit for me. It is all about what school is best for you and for what you want out of college! Catherine Hare