A fresh start: What it’s like to begin (again) as a new transfer to Baylor

By Helena Hunt & Emma King, Staff Writers
Cartoon illustration by Asher Murphy

Katy sophomore Jassmin Molina was one of many transfer students who gathered to eat Vitek’s at a new transfer student welcome dinner on August 19.

The dinner, held in the new business school, brought together students who had transferred to Baylor from community colleges, junior colleges and four-year universities.

Although this was Molina’s and the other transfer students’ first day at Baylor, this isn’t their first go at the college experience. She and her fellow transfer students are neither freshmen nor seasoned Baylor students. They are somewhere in the middle.

Molina came to Baylor from Houston Community College. Although she had wanted to attend Baylor since high school, she took time to explore career options at a community college before coming to Waco. Even with shifts from pre-med to nursing to psychology, her desire remained.

The Middle_TH August 19, 2015-13_FTW
Dallas sophomore Abigail Daudelin holds up a sweatshirt from her past school, Flagler College in Florida. Photo by Trey Honeycutt

“With a lot of self-reflection, I decided I still wanted to come to Baylor,” Molina said.

This will be the first time Molina has lived away from home. Although her experience at community college provided her with an introduction to university life, she must now live with roommates and navigate a university campus on her own.

“For many, this is the first time for students to live away from home, so it’s the same thing as what freshmen are feeling,” said Joe Oliver, Transfer Year Experience program director.

However, Molina hopes that her experience at community college has given her insight into campus life.

“Once I attended community college, it gave me what to expect from a college atmosphere,” Molina said. “People are here to succeed and enjoy their life.”

Molina’s roommate, Dallas sophomore Abigail Daudelin, said she transferred to Baylor to find a community that she would enjoy.

Daudelin attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, for the first two years of her undergraduate career. At Flagler, Daudelin succeeded academically but failed to find a close-knit group of friends. After a discussion with her former roommate, she realized that she wanted something more out of her college experience.

“There wasn’t a strong sense of community [at Flagler],” Daudelin said. “The school didn’t make an effort to really socialize us. When I came to tour here [at Baylor], everyone was super laid-back. Everyone was genuine and real here. I’m hoping to build a stronger sense of community.”

Although Daudelin has already experienced the academic challenges of college life, she must make new friends and find community at Baylor. In the face of this transition, Daudelin said her only fear is she will repeat her negative experience at Flagler.

While she never knew her hall mates at her previous dorm, she has already gotten to know her neighbors and spent time in her apartment’s communal clubhouse.

Daudelin and Molina, unlike new incoming freshmen, must find a their grounding at Baylor as upperclassmen. Though they are at the middle of their college careers, they are at the beginning of their time here on campus.

They must navigate a new environment, meet new professors and make new friends at Baylor. In the face of these challenges, Molina remains optimistic about the road ahead of her.

“It’s a new chapter of my life, in a very positive way,” Molina said. “I’m actually happy now, after a very hard two and a half years.”

A fresh start: What it’s like to begin (again) as a new transfer to Baylor from Baylor Lariat on Vimeo.