February 19, 2016

Alumni Voices: "It Just Didn't Fit Anymore"


Another of our Alumni Voices, Alexandra Milan (SAS '13), shows us that one of the forms of transfer shock or sophomore slump may be doubting an academic path that was once very clear:

I transferred to Rutgers after completing my AA at my hometown community college. I had double majored in psychology and philosophy and loved it. Naturally I thought that I would continue on this path at Rutgers.

My first semester, I took the class that changed my mind: Philosophy of Perception. It was so different than the philosophy courses I had studied before. All I could think was, “Why is everyone arguing? You are all just saying the same thing and none of it is actually helpful in the real world!” When it came time to write my midterm paper, I had absolutely nothing to say. So I had to drop the class!

The next semester I attempted another philosophy class. While I ultimately did well, I found that I was not connecting with the discipline like I had in the past. It just didn’t fit anymore.

I was set on Psychology as my major but needed a new minor to fulfill my requirements. Eventually, I decided to go for a criminology minor within the sociology department. I had considered studying criminal justice in my first year of college, so I knew I was interested in the subject and already had some of the requirements met. If I hadn’t given this a shot, I wouldn’t have taken Race Relations.

We had in depth discussions about social injustices plaguing our society. Our class was diverse, and I was able to hear so many different perspectives on the issues. My gut told me the answers to fighting these injustices lie within the educational system.

After graduating, I moved across the country to do AmeriCorps in Seattle, supporting high school students on a campus bursting at the seams with culture and diversity. It was the most significant year of my life to date. Now, I am pursuing a career working in college diversity programs and applying for the University of Washington's Leadership in Higher Education program.

Although I am not pursuing a career in psychology or criminology, the things I learned during my education helped me understand myself, the world around me, and my place in it. Making this change was terrifying, but even on the most challenging days I am thankful that I get to do something I am truly passionate about.

Alexandra Nora Milan
SAS, Class of 2013

Remember to utilize campus resources if you're experiencing Transfer Shock or the Sophomore Slump!