The Furman Transfer Experience: Finding your Home
My name is Ty Robbins, Assistant Director of Admissions and Furman University’s transfer admissions counselor. I am here with Anna Clare O’Gorman to discuss her experience as a transfer student at Furman University. Anna Clare is a senior Anthropology major and Linguistics minor who transferred to Furman University in the Fall of 2021.
Anna Clare, I think the best place for us to start is back in high school. Was Furman on your radar as you initially started looking for a college?
When I was first searching for a college, I did not know Furman existed. That is the honest truth! My search focused on big, public universities in North and South Carolina. The school I ended up attending was one that I had a lot of family connections to. My grandfather taught there, my family had several degrees from the school, and many of my high school peers went there. At my school, it was the place to go if you did well academically.
It seems like you had some influences that made for an easy decision! How was your first year of college?
My first year of college was an interesting experience. I was on a rather large campus, living in an eight-person suite. In my first semester, I rushed with a Greek organization and got to know my suitemates pretty well. The courses we took were academically rigorous. It seemed like my suitemates were stuck in their books to stay ahead in class. Socially, it was difficult to get involved with organizations due to how many options were out there. Looking through the websites, I could not tell what organizations even existed. If there was not a football game going on at the stadium, the weekend community on campus was sparce. By the end of my first semester, I was looking at transferring to another college.
So, what did that spring semester look like for you? Did you stay at your first institution?
Yes, I did! I decided to give the college a second chance. About halfway through the spring of 2020 is when COVID-19 shut our campus down. We were sent home in March and completed the semester online. I have only been back to their campus to go to a football game or visit my grandparents who live nearby.
Is this about the time that Furman University came onto your radar?
Yes! When I was looking for where I wanted to transfer to, I had a few requirements: I wanted to find a smaller school that was about two to three hours from home and that had excellent academics. My dad is a professor and mentioned Furman as a school that met all those criteria. Furman was the only school I applied to, and I was accepted around July of 2020. I deferred my admission for the next year and joined the incoming class of 2021.
And we are glad you decided to become a Paladin! How would you describe your first few weeks here at Furman?
You know, much of it felt like a repeat coming onto campus as a freshman at my first college. The only difference is that I knew what to expect. There was that initial period of learning the campus, meeting new people, and finding organizations to get involved with. The size and environment of Furman’s campus made it easy to find a few organizations to join in that first year. My advisor also made it super easy to plan out an Anthropology major before I started classes.
In the semesters since coming to Furman, everything has gone well! I think I appreciate Furman even more after having a large college experience. FUSAB (Furman University Student Activities Board) hosted some entertaining events as I was looking to get to know more people and they introduced me to some of my best friends. I have completed two MayX study away trips: Iconic Libraries in England and Art and the Science of Observation in New York City. I have found my home with several groups here on campus.
I can only imagine a lot has changed over the past two years. How is life on campus as a senior looking for you?
I was looking at graduating early! I decided I would prefer to stay for my third year and get the senior experience. I look forward to another year of hanging out on campus, watching the sporting events, and taking some pre-reqs for graduate school. I have quite a few clubs that I am involved with and some plans for future involvement this year. I am currently the President of the Ace of Clubs, the treasurer for Alpha Phi Omega, an employee over at Duke Library, and I just finished up serving as a member of orientation staff for the summer. I am currently in the process of planning CLPs (Cultural Life Programs) to raise awareness for autism. We are hoping to invite a prominent TV personality, Kaelynn Partlow, to speak on campus and have a showing of In a Different Key in the Trone Student Center.
It sounds like you have quite a full year in front of you! What are your aspirations for after you graduate?
As I mentioned, I am currently taking some pre-requisite courses for some graduate programs I am looking at. I am thinking about switching over toward the medical field and receiving a nursing degree through an accelerated graduate program. Luckily, I have some time to take some classes and speak with my advisor about graduate school.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Anna Clare! As we close out today, is there any advice that you would like to share with students who are looking to transfer to Furman?
I know that transferring can be scary, but I have never once regretted transferring to Furman. I have found so many opportunities here that I could not have even imagined for myself when starting college. I have tried something new every semester, and I decided to become a fall orientation leader this year in order to share my passion for Furman with new transfer students. In life, you always have the power to change your situation for the better, and Furman is a wonderful place to help you do that. I feel so much support from my peers as well as the faculty and staff on campus, and I know that would be true for you as well. The Furman community is amazing and I hope that you will become a part of it!