The Tenth Thursday.

November 6, 2008

That’s right, it’s the tenth Thursday of the term. Technically it’s the eleventh Thursday, counting orientation. I can’t believe how fast term is going by.

I can’t believe how behind I am.

On my friend Greg’s Facebook, he has a note informing his friends at Georgetown of his transfer. Someone left a comment saying, in effect, you know what they say about Swarthmore:

1. Academics
2. Friends
3. Sleep
(Choose two of the above.)

I was content to choose friends and sleep for the first part of the term, but now have given up the latter. I did let sleep (and a doctor’s appt.) get the better of me for Econ yesterday, unfortunately, but I have decided to take that class credit/no-credit, commonly known as pass/fail. I know it’s an intro course, but I got really behind, and I feel like I am currently residing in a pressure cooker. So while I’ll still have to work ridiculously hard to salvage my grade, I will be a little less stressed at the prospect of doing so.

My poli sci teachers said they were “concerned” about the grades of several midterms, and would email students this afternoon. I haven’t received an email as of yet, so I am crossing my fingers that I did not do as poorly on my poli sci midterm as I did on my econ one. (Although that would be quite a feat…)

This is just such a shock to the system. Everyone transfer I know is struggling at the moment. Jeanie has taken a leave of absence, Charlotte is mourning her decision to transfer, Greg and Rayan are contemplating possibly having to take five classes for the remaining three semesters they will be here, and Erick disappears most days to crawl into endless amounts of physics homework.

I have said this before, and I will say it again: I do not and never will regret my decision to come to Swarthmore College. I encourage anyone and everyone who loves to learn and think to apply, but I would be remiss in the reasons for which I started this blog if I only talked about the good parts.

The college does very little to acknowledge the fact that coming from a different college to here does not mean you can immediately fall into life and academics and succeed at Swarthmore. This is why freshman get pass/fail for the first semester, and first year seminars that are more lenient in their grading than mixed classes. But we don’t. And it’s frustrating, overwhelming, and more than a little unfair. I feel that coming from a terrible four years in a crappy public school and a year at community college, I am actually less prepared for Swarthmore than some freshman.

It’s a low point, any transition has some of those. Hopefully this blog as well as an organized action from this batch of transfers will help vocalize how difficult this really is.

That being said…I’m going to continue checking my email feverishly, dive into my Econ book, and finish my term paper outline before going to debate and, with any luck, a relaxing Pub Night.

Stressfully yours,
The Transfer Student

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