Transfer students make do during during online semester

Transferring to Simmons during the COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for students


Alexandra Novakoff, Contributing writer

Fall transfer students Adelyn Sargent and Mariana Pinheiro are determined to get their degrees, even if it means doing so remotely.

Sargent, a Junior transfer student majoring in graphic design, was “bummed” when she found out Simmons would be virtual for the fall semester.

“I’m sick of Zoom,” said Sargent, whose last school, Flagler College, moved remote last spring.

Deferring was not in the cards for Sargent who said, “I’m the type of person that if I don’t get stuff done right away and finish what I’m doing, I’m not going to do it at all.”

Transfer nursing student, Mariana Pinheiro was also disappointed by the decision to go online.

“I’m a nursing major, and I feel like the skills I need to master are harder to learn virtually,” said Pinheiro. Pinheiro considered deferring her start at Simmons, but ultimately decided to attend virtually because she is already behind in finishing school.

Simmons Professor, Valerie Geary, who teaches a leadership course made up of primarily transfer students, said she hasn’t noticed a big difference in the way transfer students are adjusting compared to non-transfers.

“In many ways, COVID and this entire experience has been a great equalizer” said Geary, who said that the struggles all students are facing in terms of technology are not unique to transfers. Geary has heard positive feedback from transfers who said the virtual Simmons platform is working far better than their previous institutions, “this makes me feel good about the work that we’ve done here to prepare for online learning” said Geary.

“I’m really glad Simmons made the decision to go online, as much as I hate online, I’d much rather be online than forced to be on campus” said Sargent. While Sargent had hoped to live on campus this semester, both her and Pinheiro agree that the school is trying to create a successful virtual community.

There are about 50 transfer students this semester, according to Dean of First-Year Programs, Alicia Lapolla. Transfer students were assigned orientation groups over the summer that have continued to interact through the fall. Other than that, programming unique to transfer students does not appear to be happening.

Geary said she would recommend the same things she would to any other student which is to “attend as many social sessions as you can, take advantage of your time in class, especially during breakout sessions, to chat with your classmates and get to know them better. most importantly, “reach out to your faculty members and advisors often; we’re here to help!”