In the eyes of a transfer student: Living on campus, Michelle Fredrickson’s journey to WSU

Michelle 3Michelle Fredrickson used to be a student at Bellevue College when she transferred to Washington State Unversity in Sept. 2012.  From a student’s perceptive, transferring is daunting and a little confusing, however there are ways for it to a more comfortable journey. Working with an advisor in the initial process is an absolute key.

“Transferring to a different school is definitely an experience. My adviser was really helpful in helping me figure out where my Running Start credits went, and how many credits I still had to attain, and figuring out my double-major.” Said Fredrickson, “My credits transferred easily because of being in-state, and my adviser was awesome in making that happen smoothly.”

Having been at BC eased the transfer process for Fredrickson. College classes prepared her for the academia and experience. “I think if I hadn’t gone straight to university from BC I’d have been a little more surprised by the way college classes were structured.” She said.

When asked on what she found most different she said, “the biggest difference between BC classes and WSU classes is definitely the size. In my Com 105 class, there’s something like 500 people. […] The campus is much bigger, and the student body is much bigger. It’s just a much larger environment.”

Fredrickson    is working towards a communication major and choose WSU for its strong journalism program, among other benefits it offered.

“Another thing that’s different just for me is going from working at a weekly paper at The Watchdog to a daily paper. Being involved in journalism and media production is a big part of my life, this is definitely an important switch that took some getting used to.”

With most change, some kind of shock is expected. Fredrickson expressed her as: “The biggest shock for me was homesickness. After about six weeks I started missing my family, my guinea pigs, my car and my skis. Another shock was the party culture. I’ve never been one to party, so it was kind of shocking to see and hear all these crazy parties happening up the street from where I live. I knew WSU was going to be a party school, but it was still a surprise. That being said, it’s totally possible to avoid the party culture, especially with the right group of friends.”

Friends tend to be the foundations to adjusting to a new culture, and sure enough Fredrickson voiced this. “There was definitely a culture change, but by putting myself out there and making new friends it was pretty easy to adapt to. Those people you sit next to really can become your best friends.”

Living in dorms is always a new experience requiring some kind of adjustment. “The residence halls are not my favorite part of living here.” Fredrickson said, “I’m used to sharing a living space, but living in a hall with 40 other girls is a different thing. Disease spreads like it would in any place where so many people get together in such a small space and the walls are a little too thin sometimes. But there are certainly ways to deal ; earplugs are my new best friends.”

Fredrickson was asked if she found WSU difficult, “Being at WSU is interesting, but I’ve not found it difficult. It has the most school spirit of any place I’ve ever been. It’s actually only really a challenge when I’m sick – the dorms just don’t provide the same support system for illness that you get living at home. But I love it here and I’m not finding it a difficult place to live.” When asked what she wished she had known, Fredrickson responded with “I wish I had known that it is in fact possible to do too much. I didn’t know at first that it is possible to bite off more than I can chew in terms of commitments and things that I need to get done. There are so many opportunities here, and I have to remember that I don’t need to use all of them all at once or I’ll cheapen the experience.”