Opinion

What does it look like to be a transfer student at Bethel College?

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beaconheader (Editor's note: the opinions expressed in editorials such as the following are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Beacon staff.) I have begun to look back on the events surrounding my years in college, just as every college senior seems to do when graduation approaches. Though I share this experience with countless other seniors around the country and here at Bethel, I deeply feel as though my personal experience at Bethel has been quite different from the traditional Bethel student. I transferred into Bethel at the beginning of my junior year, having completed my first two years at a community college, during which I lived at and commuted from home. As the time to transfer colleges came about, I landed on Bethel as my number one choice. I was looking for a college where I could dig deeper into my faith, (which I was struggling with,) live on my own and push me to become a stronger individual both academically and socially; however, I found really none of that at Bethel. I truly am tentative in sharing my struggles here at Bethel because there have been amazing aspects and people here at Bethel; however, the issues I have with the school still remain. As I transferred to Bethel, I entered with all my pre-requisite general education courses completed, excluding my Bible courses. Therefore, I had to spend a large portion of my last few semesters completing these courses rather than being enrolled in classes pertaining to my major, which could teach me valuable information and give me important connections in my field. Due to my having to play a game of catch-up, I never got to know professors within my major, who could have helped to guide me in my future career path or potentially have helped me connect within my chosen career field. I've continually felt overlooked and pushed back as I've made my way through the list of required basic classes. In the same manner, because I transferred in, there were some classes that I missed in my first two years that were only offered every spring or every other spring. I was not informed of this. Therefore, I was automatically put behind in classes such as music, which were necessary for my minor, but were only offered as classes which built off of other classes. I, once again, was not told of this. Therefore, in my senior year, I had to avoid taking classes pertaining to my actual major and spend all my time dealing with freshman level courses. Rather than being engaged with students who share my passions and future desires, I’ve been forced to take classes that I should have taken last year but couldn't due to misinformation. I was dropped into a school, which assumed that I was aware of exactly how Bethel operated. But in regards to other colleges, the way Bethel operates is very different. No other college that I know of has merely a single offering for important, necessary classes with almost no leniency or way around the issue. So I just have one question for those in charge at Bethel college: what are you doing for those of us who have moved our lives here, knowing that this is the place where we are supposed to be? This is the place that we believed would strengthen our education, bring us closer to God and the Christian community, as well as helping us to better ourselves in all realms. How is Bethel as a community embracing transfer students and allowing them to become unique and strong individuals? I would hope that transfer students would have a place of community and a faculty that understands their predicament and strives to see us succeed in the same way as traditional students. Bethel College administration, what are you truly doing?
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