Transfer student struggles

gradClosing in on about a year ago I made the decision to transfer from my beloved community college in Port Huron, Michigan and join the ranks of students attending Central Michigan University.

A few days ago, I withdrew from my first class at CMU. I was overwhelmed trying to balance work and the appropriate amount of attention my classes required from me. I worked hard at my previous school leaving with a  hard earned 3.55 GPA, only to have it reset at CMU. I struggled to adjust to a new school, a new job, and a brand new area and balance 15 credits a semester. The transfer honors scholarship requires recipients to have completed at least 30 credits by the spring semester, a demand that is almost impossible to meet in higher level courses.

The worry and fear of my GPA dropping constantly invades my thoughts nearly every waking hour. Every assignment was crucial, every single point. If my GPA drops I will lose my scholarship. If I work I have less time to study. But if I don’t work, I struggle to pay rent or buy groceries. It’s a vicious cycle.

I came to CMU with the intention to join the award-winning student newspaper the CM-Life, yet to adhere to demands of my classes, coming in as a transfer student that is taking higher level courses, it leaves no extra time in a day.

So I bide my time and watch as other students who are involved with the paper not attend class, not turn in projects, and just overwork themselves. I know they are in the same boat that I am, but that ship is sinking. Employers are looking for experience but in order to gain that experience some students are sacrificing his or her classroom education.

The Office of Institutional Research at Central Michigan University produced a report that for the fall of 2014, the semester I began at CMU, the institution admitted 1,473 transfer students. CMU has an enrollment of over 20,000 students.  According to College Measures, an organization that produces information on performance measures for four-year universities in the United States, the graduation rate at Central Michigan University is a mere 57 percent. This is comparable to the University of Michigan’s 90 percent.

Students are falling overboard unnoticed. It is time for a life raft. Perhaps CMU should spend less money on a new lacrosse field, and focus more on student success here at the university.

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