Transfer students lose certain experiences at ASU due to the pandemic

Some students feel 'cheated' out of an in-person experience they transferred for

When Ky Lackey, a sophomore studying management and a forward on the women’s hockey team, decided to transfer to ASU from Buffalo State University in New York, she expected many changes from her school of less than 9,000 to a school over 10 times its size. 

There is still something missing about adjusting to a new school after a month of classes: adjusting to its campus, too.

As they transition to a new school under circumstances they didn't plan for, transfer students have described feeling robbed of their University experience and a loss of motivation as they adapt to new learning models.

READ MORE: ASU hockey transfer Tanner Hickey's fork in the road that led him to Tempe.

“Something that I am nervous for is navigating my way through campus when things open back up and we do have more and more in-person classes,” Lackey said. “Buffalo State was a very small campus, I could pretty much (travel) from end to end of the campus in about five to seven minutes.” 

Lackey said that between learning how to use different technology and moving to a different state, the adjustment to ASU hasn’t been easy, but she enjoys interacting with her professors. 

“I’ve been adjusting OK, because with Zoom classes it feels better than having to teach myself. I still feel like I can ask questions if I need to and if I’m being talked to as best I can,” Lackey said.

For other transfer students, the added burden of learning during the pandemic and taking on a more demanding course load than they are accustomed to has made transferring schools more challenging.

“I went to community college for two years and then coming to ASU was a big jump in academic expectation,” said Deven Pile, a senior computer science major who transferred to ASU from Paradise Valley Community College last year. “I don’t know if I did the best job in managing it all, but I did the best that I could do.” 

Along with feeling the stress of coming to an entirely new environment, some transfer students say they've lost access to many of the things that made them choose to attend ASU due to the pandemic.

Caroline Pappalau, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary arts and performance, transferred to ASU from Glendale Community College last fall. Pappalau, a lifetime choir singer and musician, said she always knew she wanted to do something with music and was drawn to ASU when she heard about the interdisciplinary arts and performance program at the West campus.

She said using recording facilities at the West campus and studying in the library are things she misses the most.

“At first I was kind of upset, I feel like I got cheated out of my ASU experience,” Pappalau said. “I was hoping to use a lot more of the facilities, we have a lot of facilities for my major.” 

While the pandemic poses challenges for transfer students still adjusting to life at ASU, Pappalau said she is glad she decided to transfer.

"Overall, it's been a great experience and I'm glad that I found a major that fits what I love to do," Pappalau said. 


Reach the reporter at asgalla1@asu.edu and follow @agally72 on Twitter. 

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