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Don’t underestimate your education

As a transfer student, I’ve had a somewhat different experience than your average student that chose the right school from the beginning. My first couple months at the school were lonely (since there are a lot fewer people who are desperate to be your friend).

My email address features the wrong year because I came to the College alongside the class of ’18. I had a year less to get the hang of everything — and now that I have, it’s all over.

But perhaps the most frustrating thing, however, came from the process of transferring credits from school to school. For those of you who are blissfully unaware, it is the College’s policy for any transfer credit to only count as .75 of Wooster credit. So even if I had transferred from an Ivy League school, all of my work would only be worth three quarters of a Wooster course.

The absurdity of this policy aside, I will say that it has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise. As a result of the transfer policy, I was short on credits and spent the majority of my time here trying to play catch up. I was unable to double major or minor in anything as I originally hoped. But because of this, I could take classes that I would in no way have picked if I were pursuing a minor or another major. And weirdly enough, they have made all the difference in my education.

I know this is somewhat a cliché piece of advice — “Take a class outside of your major!”— but I’m not saying to take one class, I’m saying to take a lot of classes outside your major and in a lot of different departments. For me, an English major, that meant classes in the economics, communications, philosophy, religious studies and political science departments. While most of the time these classes were the ones that tanked my GPA, they would later allow me to make larger more nuanced connections when I was back in classes where I felt comfortable. For example, taking courses on Islam, human rights and principles of rhetoric did wonders for when I took Post-Colonial Lit and Film.

While the Core requirements that we have are attempting to force us out of our comfort zone, I think that they also allow us to take what we know we can do well in or have heard through the grapevine is the easiest course to fulfill that particular credit.

It’s easy to get too wrapped up in GPA and degree requirements and forget why we’re really here — for an education. Not an education in the traditional scholarly sense, but one in experience and empathy. If you’re not willing to stray too far out of your comfort zone when it comes to classes, then try attending a lecture or event that you wouldn’t normally consider.

So that’s my best advice for you: find where the gaps in your education are deepest and then jump in.

Also, for the love of god, take a class with Dr. Leah Mirakhor.

Janel England, News Editor for the Voice, can be reached for comment at JEngland17@wooster.edu.

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