Transfer Students Explore New Opportunities

By Yinmin Huang ’19 and Eric Huang ’19

It’s the first day you transfer, you’re both nervous and excited as you walk past the double doors and into the crowded hallways of Midwood High School, filled with kids bumping into each other trying to get to their next class. It’s similar to rush hour, except in an entirely new school.

Starting something new is always difficult for everyone no matter if you are a student, teacher, or parent. Especially if you are going to a large school like Midwood that has almost 4,000 students.

Many reasons can cause a student to transfer from one school to another. Ranging from their interests, the location of the school, and the school’s ranking.

“When most students transfer they mainly transfer because their high school is not the right fit for them,” aid Ms. Marcy Kotler, a guidance counselor. “This can be due to the size of the school or for other reasons.”

When most students transfer there are a lot of the things that you have to do that are similar to when you were trying to sign up for a high school in eighth grade.

You go to your guidance counselor, get a form, fill it out and hand it in, and then wait for the reply.

Josephine Chak ’19 said, “Transferring schools was like how it was when signing up for a high school. You fill out a form and wait for your acceptance.”

Students also choose to change schools based on the various sports or clubs. In Midwood, there are over 16 PSAL sports teams, eight school sports, and over 50 clubs you can choose from along with sports you play as part of a club, like golfing.

“I don’t really know how I ended up at Midwood, but it just happened,” said Clark. “I mainly transferred for the sports teams since Midwood has a wider selection than Murrow does, and while Murrow is known for their arts, Midwood focuses more on science.”

For other students, they simply transferred because it was a better school and offers more programs like the 22 Advanced Placement courses that can help students earn college credits.

“I transferred from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School because it was more convenient for me,” said Vincent Wu ’19. “Midwood also has a wider range of courses I am able to choose from, which gives me more opportunities.”

In some cases though, the student might be forced to change schools because of their parents.

“I transferred to Midwood because I didn’t have a choice,” said Corinne Wu ’20. “My mom thought it’d be better if I went to a school that had a better reputation. If I didn’t transfer to Midwood, I would’ve gone to Catholic school, something I’m not trying to do because of uniforms.”

There are over 1,700 schools in New York City alone, and choosing the right one is always hard. Sometimes people prefer their old schools over their new ones.

“Madison wasn’t all that bad, and to be honest, I miss it,” Wu said. “I started first period throughout the year and my grades were all good until I came to Midwood. I lost motivation when I came into Midwood. Midwood and Madison have such different vibes, the people are different.”

Transferring schools is a process that most students make in ninth grade. This can also be due to them trying to get into a specialized high school, but didn’t get in the first time because their SHSAT scores didn’t meet the criteria and want to try again, or after getting into their current school, they don’t see it as academically fit as others.

“I retook the SHSAT in ninth grade, which was harder than the first one, and got a 544 and got into Brooklyn Tech,”  said former Midwood student William Z. Tom ’19. “I waited patiently until March where I got my acceptance letter. After I got my letter, I finished off the year strong and transferred to Brooklyn Technical High School for sophomore year. In my opinion Brooklyn Tech is easier than Midwood [because] there is less competition.”

Overall, changing schools can be both a good and bad thing depending on how the student perceives it and their reasoning for transferring.

“I transferred from Goldstein because it was really far from my house and took forever to get to,” said Daniil Frolov ’19. “Midwood appealed to me because of the various sports teams and after school activity available for students. I’ve definitely improved academically since transferring.”

Guidance counselors can offer a great deal of support for incoming students as they help students adjust to the school and provide moral assistance.

“My goal is to make them graduate in four years, be ready for the future, and become better members of society,” said Ms. Kendra Lane.

While high school lasts for only four years, those four years can greatly impact the students future in life and choosing the right high school is always important for their academic learning, future success, and for making memories that last a lifetime.

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