RIT Official Tiger

After graduating from a high school in the suburbs of Rochester, I went to a college about two hours away from home. There, I was a marketing major. After about a year, I decided I wanted to pursue graphic design instead; I loved playing in Photoshop and dreamed to create advertisements. However, there was one problem: I hadn’t taken an art class since middle school. I made a bold decision to leave my four-year university and head home to my local community college. There, I started to explore fine arts and graphic design. I built up my portfolio and applied to new colleges. Two years after walking the stage at RIT for my high school graduation, I ended up back here as a second year Graphic Design major.

Pre New Student Orientation

After having gone to two different colleges already, I really hoped my next college would be the one I graduate from. To tell the truth, I struggled on where to transfer to for a long time. I was picking between RIT and another university, both with their different ups and downs. Thankfully, it was a really easy process transferring into RIT; the ease of the admissions process increased my urge to go here. My academic advisor, my program supervisor, RIT housing, and everyone else I met while applying was super helpful and accommodating.

Being a transfer student is intimidating. There are strength in numbers, and the freshmen are able to feed off of each other for guidance and support. However, when you transfer to a new school as an upperclassman, all of your classmates are already comfortable with their professors, can easily navigate their way around campus, have class experience, and know a lot of people. I was especially nervous to go into a major with a great reputation; I had developed a comfort zone at my community college, but I wasn’t being pushed. I wanted to develop my skills as a graphic designer, but also feared not being able to keep up. Regardless of my fears, the transition into RIT was as simple as possible, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more; I simply hoped for the best when I arrived on campus.


Shayna and her friends during at the firework ceremony during student orientation.

For New Student Orientation, I  had to arrive the Tuesday before classes started. After I moved in and say goodbye to my parents, I headed to the Ritter Ice Arena to meet my orientation leader and my transfer orientation group. Orientation week was long and overwhelming. I was in a group with only transfer students, but we participated in all the freshman NSO activities. At times it felt juvenile, especially because all transfers had already “been there done that”. However, I knew stepping out of my comfort zone was crucial. Therefore, I decided to embrace the activities at the NSO.

Orientation is designed to help new students get comfortable with their school before classes start. NSO at RIT did serve this purpose, but also did more than just provide me with helpful information. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I was able to make a bunch of friends who were also transfer students. I found it really easy to form relationships with other transfers, especially because we all had at least one thing in common. The relationships I had formed at orientation really helped me feel at home in a new environment. Without the support of my new friends, the beginning of my semester would’ve been much tougher. In the end, I am happy I decided to attend the full week of orientation events. Even though not all of the events were top notch, orientation gives you time to develop relationships and form friendships which will hopefully last you your whole college career.

Post Orientation

I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to meet other transfer students. Some of my closest friends here now are those of which I met at orientation. Their support and kindness has made my first couple weeks of classes much easier. My first couple classes were tough. I didn’t know much about RIT, yet all of my classmates knew other people and seemed to have the class routine down. Thankfully, once my professors and classmates knew I was new, they were overly accommodating and helpful.

I decided it was best in my situation to get as involved on campus as I could, right away. Now, I am part of two clubs, am on the Women’s Tennis Team, and have a lovely job as a writer for Behind the Bricks. My schedule is busy, but I like it that way. I intend to stay involved on campus, but also want to ensure my studies are my priority. Before I walk the stage at the RIT graduation ceremony, I hope to have developed relationships with my professors, have made lifelong friendships, and have gotten the opportunity to do some cool internships and graphic design pieces. I am happier than I have ever been. I am overjoyed to have transferred to be an RIT Tiger and I cannot wait to see what other opportunities RIT brings me.

Shayna and her new tennis team.

To learn more about the transfer process at RIT, please visit the transfer students section of the undergraduate admissions website.


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