Transferring amidst a pandemic

When I received the email from Loyola Marymount University stating my acceptance to the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts for the fall semester of 2020, there was no doubt in my mind it was the university I was transferring to.

I had always thought I would major in biology to become a cosmetic dermatologist, but when I got a 20% on my final for chemistry freshman year at Marymount California University I decided to look for a different career path.

I enrolled myself in my first journalism class at MCU and I instantaneously fell in love with writing, the media and broadcasting. I would make Youtube videos, podcasts and we would have projects in where we deliver news in various ways.

In the fall of 2019 I registered at El Camino College where they offered more advanced journalism classes.

Now I am a staff writer for The Union at ECC.

Going to LMU would not only let me graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, but it would open doors for me as in internships where I would form connections.

Like most college students, after graduating I do not know what job I would follow.

I want to write for a magazine like Cosmopolitan or Vogue. I want to be a travel journalist where I visit countries like Ukraine and Argentina. I want to be an anchor and feature in CNN or Fox News.

As I proceed my education in journalism, I hope my passion for either one of those careers will further develop.

Going to LMU excites me for what the future has in store for me.

However, when I read about how colleges and universities across the country are uncertain about keeping campuses open for the fall of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it discouraged me from transferring.

Many transfer students are faced with a tough decision of whether we should transfer to the university of our choice as planned prior to the pandemic.

Students transfer to a university not only to pursue their major, but for the on-campus experience of joining clubs, meeting new peers and learning from professors in a classroom setting.

According to University of California Admissions, it is premature to know whether COVID-19 will affect classes beyond summer.

The California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White also stated that CSU campus courses will primarily be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term.

Loyola Marymount University released a statement April 30 stating that their goal for the fall of 2020 in preparing to open campuses to students with “appropriate protocol” to protect the community.

If campuses were to remain online for the fall, the wisest decision for me is to take a gap year until fall of 2021.

If I were to take that one year without attending this university I would be one year behind my educational goal, which is to graduate as soon as I can to pursue an internship or a job in my interest.

Also, jobs are limited and only essential workers are permitted to work. Even if I were to work after graduating from LMU, I could potentially endanger myself and my family with exposure to coronavirus while working or interning.

I would even have to apply to this university all over again and there is no guarantee that I would be accepted again.

It is not like I can travel the world during that gap year where there is still a pandemic going on.

Realistically, I would be lounging around the house playing Sims4 and eating frozen corn dogs. I would not be using my brain to its capacity during that spare time.

I probably would forget all the academic materials I learned from the past two years in college during that gap year.

Staying at ECC did cross my mind, because I would be writing for the newspaper, building my resume and even winning awards for the articles I could write.

Going to LMU in the fall overrode all those options because I would be on the right path to finish school and moving onto bigger things, such as pursuing my dream job and traveling, even if it meant sacrificing campus life.

Although we do not know what the future entails in regards to COVID-19, the decision of whether I should continue the road to education during the pandemic has been uneasy and anxiety filled.

If you have doubts about going to the university you are transferring to, online counseling is available on the ECC website.

Whether you need motivation, you’re undecided about your educational or career goals, the counseling office is here for you.

I am glad to be a part of a school that provides help in times of uncertainty, especially for other transfer students in the same position as me. I know that I am not alone in this situation.