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Proud to be a transfer student

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, February 24, 2005

I would like to respond to the implications made in “True Life: I’m a transfer student” in Tuesday’s edition of the Observer. I am offended that the perspective offered in this article gives the impression that all transfers are those who didn’t get in to the University the first time around. This fosters the stereotype that they weren’t good enough, or are less worthy of the hard-working reputation Notre Dame students have.

I was recently conversing with a fellow transfer student who referenced our transfer orientation luncheon. When one of the Admissions officers welcomed us by asking, “Where have you been all year?!”, the student had mumbled, “You didn’t let us in!” Although this may be the sentiment among some transfer students, it is not applicable to all.

I transferred last fall, but not as a result of being previously rejected. Rather, I had applied early decision to a small liberal arts school near my home on the East coast. My decision to come to Notre Dame was a result of the realization that I had changed, and the school I chose in high school no longer fit my academic needs or my character.

The aforementioned speaker also told us that after orientation, we would no longer need to introduce or think of ourselves as “transfers.” In retrospect, maybe this was only a suggestion as their way of saying “try to fit in … I know the presumptions made about transfers.”

But personally thinking that transferring was a result of growth and need for change, not a reflection of insufficiency, I thought it meant we were as much a part of the Notre Dame family as those who were here before us.

I am not ashamed that I am a transfer student; in fact, I feel unique in the perspective I bring, having experienced another college, to a University most people have wanted to attend since they were five. I consider myself lucky that I discovered a wonderful school in my search for change. I was only disappointed to see the transfer student stereotype perpetuated; we are here now, and regardless of how we did it, that should be all that matters.

Katherine Hayes


Howard Hall

Feb. 23