Junior Experience: Transfer’s journey leads to Rider

College is what you make of it. If you want to sit in your dorm room all day and not socialize, then that’s your choice. However, if you choose to go out and meet new people, then your experiences in college will be very different. After you graduate, those decisions will dictate how you view your college years.
I am trying to make the most of my college experience since I transferred this semester from Gloucester County College (GCC). Being away from home and meeting new people is exciting; one of the best things is that my roommate transferred this semester from Raritan Valley Community College. It’s nice to live with someone who can relate to my new situation.
I was one of the 82 transfer students this semester at Rider, compared to the 231 that enrolled this past fall. According to Enrollment Manager Jamie O’Hara, Rider expects between 235-250 new transfer students to enroll in fall 2013. Over the past two years, schools such as Middlesex County College, Mercer County College and Bucks County Community College have had the largest percentage of increases in transfers to Rider.
During my senior year of high school, Rider was not on my radar. My top choice was Monmouth University. Then one day my parents broke the news to me that I had to go to GCC for two years. I had received the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship, which would pay for about half of my tuition at GCC. However, I didn’t care because I didn’t want to wait two years to go to Monmouth, and it didn’t help that people called GCC the “13th grade.”
When I registered for the fall 2011 semester at GCC, I was told that I was a semester ahead, since I took six advanced placement courses in high school. They also told me that I would graduate in December 2012. It was the best news that I had heard in a while.
My experiences at GCC were surprisingly great. I became a member of the school’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa and Connections Unlimited. My courses were challenging, and I had great professors. It wasn’t the 13th grade at all.
My communication professor, Dr. Sylvia Baer, told me that I had more control over my future than I thought. She told me to research different schools and to visit them and took the time to help me sort out my hopes and fears of transferring somewhere new. Eventually, my search led me to Rider. I loved that it was a small school and that it also had an outstanding Communication Department. When I told her this she laughed because her husband, Dr. John Baer, is an education professor at Rider.
Everything always works itself out. We all just have to relax and make the most of it. We’re only in college once, so we need to enjoy it.
-Jessica Vento
Junior public relations major

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