NSOP Through the Eyes of a Transfer Student

by Sarah Ambrose

NSOP, naturally, is a different experience for transfer students than it is for first years—primarily because we have been through it all once before. It’s all a packaged deal of meeting new faces, engaging in customary icebreaker activities, attending sexual violence/awareness assemblies, and waking up at an hour we (secretly or openly) wish we didn’t have to. Orientation generally feels like a whirlwind, and for transfer students it’s a whirlwind experienced for the second time.

The most common reason I’ve heard from fellow transfer students regarding why they chose Barnard was: To find girls like themselves. Although we were experiencing the whirl for a second time, we were able to ride the whirl rather than feel stuck inside of it. Why? Because we came in knowing exactly what we wanted and understanding ourselves more deeply. Unlike first years, who are adjusting to and taking in the vicissitudes of college for the first time, transfers are taking in Barnard through the eyes of clarity—courtesy of 20/20 hindsight.

For a transfer student, NSOP can be a bit of an emotionally moving experience. As President Spar welcomed us within the first hour of being on campus, many of us felt an indescribable joy. We had finally made it. At least from my perspective, I knew in that moment that I was in the right place. What I had sought for, worked for, and reclaimed in my life was finally all worth it. For the next three years, I knew I would get the chance to be bold, beautiful, strong Sarah at Barnard College.

That feeling when there’s no more need to ask yourself, “When will my life begin?”

Sarah Ambrose is a contributor for Barnard Bite.

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