Transferring schools is always hard, but transferring in the middle of the year provides its own unique challenges. I started my freshman year of college off at Seattle Pacific University and after a quarter there decided Corban would be a better fit for me.

I have to admit, I had no idea what to expect coming into Corban. I am from California and had never even been to Salem before. It was not until after I was already enrolled that I was actually able to visit the campus.

There was a lot of anticipation that led up to finally being able to see the place I would call home for the next three and a half years, but I knew when I got here I had found a great fit. Despite not knowing a single person I ran across, everyone was friendly and kind to me, even though they were in the middle of finals week.

Ashlyn Rollins is a transfer student from Chico, California. Photo from Facebook

Ashlyn Rollins is a transfer student from Chico, California. Photo from Facebook

After visiting the school and meeting some of the students, I was more at ease. However, when it drew closer to move in day, my nerves came back.

I had a lot of anxiety when I thought about how I would have to figure out a new school and make new friends. I didn’t know if I would even like Corban.

Something that was important to me was being in a Christ-centered culture. My first quarter at college I realized I was not in a place where my relationship with God was encouraged to grow, and I was unsure if Corban would provide me with a culture that encouraged spiritual growth.

There was also the anxiety of making new friends. Meeting a new roommate, new floor-mates, and a whole new student body was enough to give anyone some nervousness. Corban is a tightly knit group of people, and knowing that, I was unsure if I would be welcomed into this community.

All of my fears and anxieties have been put somewhat to rest. I have found myself fully immersed in a place where Jesus is at the center. I also have quickly made friends, and I have come to realize, this amazing close community is quick to welcome new people into their family.

Another aspect that has made this experience easier for me is realizing how many students do or have transferred during spring semester. My own RA transferred at the spring semester, and I have met many other students who have been in my place before as well. This has been comforting and has provided me with many people who understand my situation and go above and beyond to make me feel welcomed.

The hardest thing about being a spring semester transfer student, no matter where you are at, is trying to make friends. However, I quickly saw that just because students already had friend groups, didn’t mean I couldn’t join those friend groups.

There are unique challenges for transfer students like myself. It’s hard to be thrown into the midst of a tight community and have to try to make friends within a couple days. This means sometimes I eat meals alone or sit by myself during chapel. But, I believe the student body at Corban is doing a great job of making me, and the other new students, feel welcomed. I know I will quickly become a part of this great community.