By Kameesha Pascoe
When I graduated high school I never thought I would start off at one college and transfer to a new one. The thought of adding an extra layer of stress on top of the rollercoaster of emotions I was already experiencing never crossed my mind. High school flew by, and I thought college would be the same. But the problems I experienced were 10 times worse, and I quickly learned they have the power to make or break you.
College life can present a variety of challenges, regardless if you live on campus, at home, or in an apartment with friends. This is the first time many students are facing ‘real life’ problems, and it is often mentally, emotionally, and physically draining.
I graduated high school and started college at North Carolina Wesleyan University. I was excited to play basketball, the sport I love while earning my education. But things changed for me rather quickly.
I experienced social issues which made me feel like I shouldn’t be on the basketball team or coexisting. It was already enough that I was in a new state, and struggling to adapt to a new culture without family.
In the beginning, the team felt like home and irreplaceable. We were bonding on so many levels. I loved the atmosphere my teammates created which made me feel comfortable in my own skin. Then cliques begin forming and people start switching up on me, showing their true colors.
It was my first time playing collegiate basketball and I made a lot of mistakes. Freshman year, the year to learn and process new information was hard. I heard comments from teammates like ‘If I messed up the amount times you do I’ll kill myself’. I honestly was at a loss for words and couldn’t believe what I heard. Immediately, I communicated to the coaching staff and they expressed that I overreacted.
At the end of freshman year, I began thinking about transferring to relieve stress and change my environment. However, I wasn’t able to transfer until a year later.
No student who aspires to go to school and be a collegiate athlete should experience that form of inequality because it’s unhealthy and unjust.
Once I started the transferring process, I realized how costly, mentally and emotionally draining it was. I had to pay application fees, put down a deposit, and pay out of pocket to move over my transcript to my new school.
In Spring 2022, I decided to commit to William Peace University.
At the time, I worked two jobs to secure my spot at my new school. The thought to pay all of that at once plus my current bills felt impossible to me.
I was already feeling a strain from the financial crisis of the summer. Inflation has impacted me greatly and often made paying for gas and groceries difficult. It was a struggle to find money to pay the deposit on top of getting the things I needed to take care of myself.
Although it was tough financially, I finally transferred to WPU. However, a lot of the credits I earned from my previous school were lost along the way.
Within this process, I learned a lot about myself and that I am extremely determined. I’ll take the necessary measures to get what I want. Since this move, I’m happier, more carefree, and mentally prepared for anything that comes my way.
One piece of advice I would give to athletes thinking about transferring is just do it!
If the environment is mentally draining and not beneficial, then leave. I have witnessed athletes stay in toxic environments because of their comfort levels or are scared of change, limiting potential growth and happiness.
Transferring can be a difficult and mentally draining process. I believe schools should create programs solely for transfer students to help them adapt to the new environment.
That way they don’t have to feel alone and they have a support system that’ll back them up and listen.
Most schools already have counselors catering to a large variety of students on campus. Forming group therapy full of other transfers would be ideal given the fact it would allow everyone’s voice to be heard in one setting and help build relationships.
Kameesha’s journey from Wesleyan to WPU