IMG_4170Alexandria Perrella transferred to the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Fall of 2013 after attending the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire her freshman year. Alexandria is now a senior and will be graduating in the Spring with a major in marketing and a minor in hispanic studies.

Alexandria’s favorite Duluth events include Fall Fest at Chester Bowl and Hairball at Bayfront.

Here is Alexandria’s UMD transfer story.

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As someone born and raised in Duluth, I always felt :there was no way that I was going to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth.”

I was looking for somewhere new, somewhere I was unfamiliar with. Like lots of people my age, I couldn’t wait to get away from my hometown and start a new chapter in my life. It only took me a few months away from Duluth to realize something didn’t feel right. I was incredibly stressed when it came to my classes and my major was still undeclared. On top of that, I had a few family members become very sick. I couldn’t stand living two and half hours away, and I missed everything about home and Duluth.

I knew that I needed to transfer home and get my head straight.

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Alexandria and her group during a study abroad trip to Spain.

I had officially decided to apply to UMD during winter break of my freshman year at UW-Eau Claire. Strangely, I found that breaking the news to my family was a difficult task. I had actually applied to UMD without telling anyone, and for some reason I thought they’d be disappointed that I couldn’t do it on my own.

Much to my surprise, my family and friends were extremely supportive of my decision and were proud I lasted an entire year in a less-than-ideal situation.

Fast forward to Fall 2013 and my first day of classes at UMD. I was beyond nervous. And felt very unprepared. I had never even toured UMD, much less attend any kind of orientation. I assumed that being from Duluth and my semi-familiarity with UMD would be enough to get me through. I was wrong. I was so lost my first few DSC_0049days, and specifically remember a professor talking about “Moodle” and having no idea what they were talking about. I often questioned if I made the right decision when I chose to transfer. I really struggled with the transition. However, I slowly and strongly began to adjust.

Two years have passed and my how things have changed for the better. I’m starting my senior year at UMD, and am so glad I transferred here.

During the past two years at UMD I have had so many great opportunities. I declared a major in marketing and a minor in hispanic studies. I was able to study abroad in Spain for five weeks this past summer. I’ve been on the Dean’s List and recently received an LSBE Honors Scholarship. I’ve also been a part of a few on campus organizations.

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Alexandria leading the transfer students through their orientation at Winter Welcome last January.

One of the best opportunities I have had thus far was interning in the Office for Students in Transition. My internship consisted of helping other students transfer and planning events and orientations to help students who were totally lost when transferring, like I was. I was able to meet so many people during my internship and it has opened so many other doors for me. I can proudly say since my time at UMD there is so much more support for transfer students.

If you would’ve told me my senior year of high school that in four years I would be graduating from UMD I would have laughed in disbelief. But now I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

UMD is where I am meant to be.

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