By Megan McConnell, Editor, Transfer eNewsletter
Back in the '80's on Saturday Night Live, Billy Crystal played a guy called Fernando Lamas, whose trademark phrase was, "You look marvelous!" and insisted that it's better to look good than to feel good. I often think of Fernando Lamas when I meet with students who, though they were born well after his character ceased to appear on SNL, seem to believe that appearance matter most. I'm here to say that Fernando was wrong.
Because I am a pre-law adviser, I hear this sentiment expressed most often in working with my students who hope to go to law school, but I know that pre-med advisers hear it too, as well as admissions counselors at colleges all across the US. "Will it look good if I...?" and you can fill in the blank. Complete an internship. Study abroad. Add a minor. Whatever it is, will it look good?
The question you should be asking yourself is if it will BE good. Stop relying on external evaluations and begin developing internal ones. Take on activities that encourage you to grow, whether that's intellectually, emotionally, or creatively. Build alliances and community with people and projects that matter to you. Spend time around people who inspire you, whether it's because of their compassion, their brilliance, or their sense of adventure.
When there comes the time for you to try to impress admissions types (and I am not so naïve as to believe such a thing isn't an important reality) if you've done these things, you'll have something interesting to say. About YOU, a unique individual like no other. There is no formula for the "right" combination.
This issue of the Transfer eNewsletter is full of information regarding programs of study and funding options that, once you have transferred here, might help you to develop the unique individual you are. Business types, listen up: the new option in Operations and Supply Chain Management might be right for you, especially if logistics are enticing to you. Those interested in health might consider the Public Health major (a liberal arts major introducing undergraduates to public health issues such as the geography of health and the determinants of health) or the Environmental Health Summer Research Program (a paid summer experience at UW). Those who value creative expression might read about our major in Dance, which investigates the subject as an art form and as a cultural practice. And then there is information on how to fund all this: Scholarships for Future Huskies and the Alan R. Spence Transfer Student Support Fund.
Because the best way to prepare for life after graduation from UW is to continue doing the same self-development you've already begun: Listen to your internal sense of self, be the best person you can be, continue to develop your skills and your sense of perspective. It helps to know about opportunities that can allow you to do these things, and so I wish you happy reading!