School #3…School #3 was a crazy and amazing experience all wrapped into one. So how did I wind up at school #3 1200 miles from home? While at school #2 I had a friend who LOVED Disney. Him and his then girlfriend took a trip down there to go to the parks and decided to take a 45 minute detour to go look at school #3. He came back and told me he really thought I would like the school and I should look into it too. Funny enough one of my close friends from school #1 had also transferred there and was trying to convince me to go there too.

The big problem I was having with transferring back to a 4-year school was school #1’s courses were designed in a way that they made the credits near impossible to transfer. Calculus 1 every where else was the equivalent of Calculus 1 and part of Calculus 2 there. But when you tried to transfer in Calculus 2 they wouldn’t see all the topics and would deny it. Also, some schools don’t look at your application if you ever got a C or if your GPA is below a 3.0.

I called an admissions counselor at school #3 and explained my story. She told me to just write a letter explaining it all that way if they are on the fence with my application they could read it. (It wound up not being needed but it was so helpful.) Within 3 weeks my mom and I jumped on a plane and went down for open house. We literally went to Florida for this about 10 days before having to head to Virginia for my sister’s wedding. It was a bit crazy. To top all this off, it was about 2.5 weeks post Hurricane Irma hitting Florida and we found out hours before our flight that our hotel was closed due to damage from the storm.

But back to the school….

But we went down to visit anyway. Their Civil Engineering department was super small. Literally every civil class takes place in this one tiny classroom. I got to meet multiple professors (including one that became my adviser and really took me under his wing) and the department head. I asked if they had an ITE chapter there and my future adviser told me no but I was going to start it and do research for him.

At the end of the day the head of the department sat with my mom and I for hours getting all my credits to transfer and determining what classes I needed to take when in order to graduate as fast as possible. It was determined I was going to need 4 semesters and 2 summers. It was a big decision to make. The school was super expensive and I was going to be the only one of my siblings to leave New York for college which I think freaked my dad out. But we decided this was the best choice to get me my degree and get it fast. So less than 2 months later I was in Florida going to school.

It was hard transferring into a program that was so incredibly small. The class I should have graduated with if I has done 4 years had 14 graduates and my year had 12. Everyone already had their groups and their friends and it was pretty lonely in the beginning.

During the first week of class I had walked into Aquaponics class and some guy who wasn’t in class the first day was in the empty seat next to mine. (Future post spoiler alert: that random guy is now my boyfriend of 2+ years.)

I was really fortunate to graduate in just 3 semesters and 1 summer. I was able to take course equivalency tests to get out of taking a bunch of random classes. I wound up testing out of 10 credits (so basically an entire semester) by taking these tests. I was also able to use excess credits (classes I had taken that they didn’t require for the degree) to count towards my 128 required credits to cover a 4 semester 0 credit class from school #1.

I really killed myself that one summer I was there. I moved back to New York, worked at my internship in NYC, took 8 credits of physics at school #2 (4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 10 weeks) , and went to Pennsylvania with my boyfriend every weekend. It was very stressful and just mentally hard but it was sooooo worth it.

I wound up being apart of some crazy research projects (that have been published), starting ITE, won a bunch of scholarships, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2019. The girl who was told “girls don’t belong in engineering” and that she wouldn’t make it through engineering school graduated with a GPA that got her Magna Cum Laude honors.

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