This new school year, there are a lot of familiar faces on campus and new students, too, including a significant portion that are transfers from other four-year and community colleges.
This year, McDaniel welcomed 416 freshman and 55 transfers, which totaled 471 new students.
The number of transfers vary from year to year, and from where they arrive. They are thrust into a new environment, which can take time to get used to.
A key factor to help these transfers are peer mentors. Desiray Sweeney is a junior who works as a peer mentor. Before being a peer mentor, she was a transfer herself just last year. She came to McDaniel as a sophomore after attending Frederick Community College.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do,” said Sweeney, explaining her decision to put off attending a four-year school immediately after high school. “I was not ready for college.”
Frederick Community College served as a tool for her to prepare and, after a year, she transferred to McDaniel.
“McDaniel was the place I was supposed to be,” said Sweeney. “I love the small town feel.”
She decided to become a peer mentor to share her experience and help others settle into college, which can be a difficult process. Sweeney was very lonely her first year at McDaniel and regretted not participating in activities because she felt like she was dropped into the middle of something.
She wants to inspire transfers to enjoy McDaniel and help them find their place.
“I love helping people,” said Sweeney. “It’s just kind of my nature. I remember coming in as a transfer student, and I want to help transfer students because I want it to be relatable to them.”
A fellow peer mentor, Logan Clough, described Sweeney as a ray of sunshine.
“She always had a positive attitude and eagerness to learn how to fulfill her duties,” said Clough. “She is hardworking, intelligent, and an overall good influence on everyone around her.”
Abigail Hayden, a mentee of Sweeney, thinks of her as a crucial resource.
“She’s always a friendly face,” said Hayden. “I ask her a lot of questions and she always has an answer.”
Sweeney advises transfer students “to get out there and get involved.”