Transfer Profile: Tess Haadsma, '15

Hometown: Battle Creek, Mich.
Major: English - creative writing emphasis
Activities: Co-captain of the swim team, editor on The Pleiad, tour guide, First Year Experience mentor.

Transfer student Tess Haadsma

What made you pick Albion College?

I had looked into attending Albion right out of high school, but ultimately chose to attend a larger, public university because of a scholarship opportunity I had there. Right off the bat, I wasn't exactly happy there, and for the duration of my two years there, I just felt like it wasn't where I was supposed to be. When I finally talked with my parents and made the decision to transfer, Albion was without a doubt my first choice. I was instantly attracted to the liberal arts education approach Albion emphasizes.

I know it probably seems cheesy, but as soon as I stepped foot on Albion's campus, I knew it was where I belonged. I had always heard people talk about visiting a campus and just knowing that it was where they were meant to be, but I never really believed that people actually experienced that feeling until I felt it for myself at Albion College.

So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?

First, I noticed that Albion's campus has a cozier feel to it. Not only in terms of the size of campus, but in the way people interact with one another. Professors actually remember your name, students smile and say hello in passing.

And classes are much smaller and more discussion based. I'm taking an "Intro to Psychology" class this semester, and it's a class of 25 students. At my old school, all the intro psych classes were huge lectures with 150-plus students. Albion makes it so much less intimidating to ask questions and actually participate in class.

What are you studying? What are you involved in?

I'm majoring in Communication Studies with an emphasis on professional communication and production. The specific communication track I chose is really neat, because it requires classes from the both the English and communication departments, giving my communication studies degree a bit more of a concentration on writing, which is something that I found incredibly appealing.

As soon as I made the decision to become a student here at Albion, I knew instantly that I wanted to join the swim team. Swimming is a sport I've always loved, and one thing that's really exciting to me about transferring to a school like Albion is having the opportunity to be part of a team again, and represent my school by doing something I absolutely adore. I'm also planning to write for Albion's newspaper, The Pleiad.

What are your plans after graduating from Albion?

While my post-graduation plans are still up in the air, I hope to attend graduate school to earn my masters degree in either library/information science or journalism/mass communication. No matter whether I decide to attend graduate school right away or take a break from school to get some "real life" experience first, I know that my Albion College degree will give me the experience and ability necessary to succeed in whatever I choose to do.

What’s been the most pleasantly surprising thing you’ve seen at Albion?

How friendly everyone is! I know it probably sounds so ridiculous, but having come from a larger institution, it genuinely surprised me how friendly and connected everyone is here. The advisers and professors at Albion are so much more willing to sit down and talk with you, and work out an academic plan that's tailored specifically for you. On move-in day, a handful of students stopped by my room to introduce themselves, which was something I was definitely not expecting, but I was so happy that they did!

What was the transfer process like for you?

The process of transferring to Albion was a lot smoother of a process than I had been expecting! Before even submitting an application, I made contact with the transfer admissions counselor, Karen. She responded almost instantly, and really identified with my situation and understood where I was coming from, which made me feel so much more at ease. Since I had previously applied and been admitted to Albion right out of high school, all I had to do was reactivate my application from high school, which was really nice.

As a transfer student, the actual process of credit transferring from one institution to another can be nerve-wracking, but the way they did it here at Albion was fairly painless. I set up a meeting time with the registrar, and he sat down and explained to me how credits work at Albion, what the requirements for graduation are, and which of my credits from my previous institution had direct equivalencies here at Albion College.