Opinion: Alternative students can find success, too



Christina Bucciere

I came to Kent State last year as a transfer student. I am also a commuter student.

The double dose of adjustment obstacles. Or so I was told.

But I can tell you all without any doubt that I feel just as much a part of this campus as any other student. And I say to my fellow commuters and transfers that you can too — with a bit of work.

Making the decision to transfer to Kent State was an easy one. The journalism program is great, and it’s close to home. Mustering the momentum to dive into a new school headfirst wasn’t easy.

But that’s how it has to be done when you’re a transfer student: headfirst. No testing of the waters.

I knew in a big school like this I had to get involved, and fast. Before I even set foot on campus, I made contacts with the editors of the numerous student media publications in the journalism school to see how I could get involved.

By the time the first day of classes rolled around, I was already on the staff of two publications. Putting myself in the thick of the action wasn’t easy by any means, but I knew how important it would be for me to quickly catapult myself into a position where I could begin developing the relationships and experiences I want to get out of my college experience.

This becomes twice as to do when overcoming the obstacles of either not living on campus or transferring to a new school where you know not a single face.

I commute 35 minutes to school every day, which can put a strain on the relationships I’ve developed here since I am not always on or around campus. But had I not taken advantage of the many student organizations my particular school has to offer, I might not have made those connections in the first place.

Because I don’t have a home base on campus, I needed to make the grounds my home base. I grounded myself in my program so that my time on campus feels purposeful, aside from the obvious purpose of attending classes. And every program on campus has its own opportunities and groups ready to welcome fresh faces to their ranks.

Campus-wide organizations are also a great way to get involved. After I felt settled within my specific program, I was bold enough to join a group with students from all kinds of majors. This has helped me learn more about Kent State as a whole, opening up my world to new possibilities I never would have uncovered without taking the initiative to find my place on campus.

If you feel distanced because you are either a commuter or transfer student, I encourage you to put those thoughts aside and replace them with a proactive determination to make the best out of an alternative situation.

Although we may attend Kent State under different circumstances, every student faces the challenge of committing to the idea of creating a rewarding experience, and that all starts with getting involved.

In the end, commuting and transferring is certainly a different college experience than the “traditional” route. But that doesn’t mean it has to be any less rewarding.