Kristin casually hanging out at the ice house one winter.

Kristin Goosen transferred to UMD from from a small private college in Minneapolis in the Fall of 2013. Originally from Crookston, MN she did PSEO during high school and graduated from Crookston High School in 2012.

Kristin actually graduated from UMD this past May with a major in Communication and a minor in Journalism.

Her favorite thing about Duluth is that “There’s always something to do. It’s such an eclectic community, so it never gets boring. One day you can be going for a hike through Chester, the next you could be dressed up for an evening at the Playhouse. There’s something that can appeal to everyone, plus the natural beauty of the area. There’s really nothing better than life on the shores of Lake Superior.”

Her favorite thing about UMD?

“There’s a lot that I love about UMD, but to be honest, the thing I’m most thankful for is the connected campus. Duluth may be beautiful, but those winters can get brutal. Being able to walk from one end of campus to the other without having to brave the cold has been a life-saver.”

We asked Kristin a bunch of questions about her transfer experience. Here’s her story.

Why did you decide to transfer?
“I needed a campus that was a little bigger than the very small private school I was attending…in a city that was much smaller than the huge city where my former campus was located (Minneapolis). UMD and Duluth were both the right size. UMD is my happy medium.

“I guess I’m kind of like Goldilocks in terms of colleges.”

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Kristin and her sister, Nicole on her first day in Duluth.

What was your transfer experience like?
“It was a transition, I’ll tell you that. I had taken a semester off, plus the summer, so I’d been out of school for close to 8 months. Since starting preschool, that was the longest break from school I’d had in my life. I was terrified. Plus I was moving to a place on my own, with no real connections already established. I had an on-campus apartment with three random girls I’d never met. I felt like a freshman all over again.

“Luckily, connections came easy at UMD.”

Turns out one of my roommates and I would become great friends within a few weeks, and my decision to join a Rock Group during orientation panned out. The thing I had to learn about being a transfer was that I had to put myself out there and I needed to be able to ask for help when I needed it. One Stop became my best friend, and they answered all my questions from financial aid to transfer credits. I felt like it was a smooth experience all around, and there was always someone available at whatever office I needed to answer all of my questions.”

How did you feel when you arrived on campus?
“I had packed up all my belongings into my little Honda Accord and arrived on campus with my sister and a friend to get me all situated. My parents had already moved me into a dorm the year before, and there’s just something not as monumental about it the second time. I was like, okay parents, you can sit this one out, I got myself into this transferring mess, I’ve got it this time. There’s almost a new amount of pressure when you arrive at your new school. This one needs to work out. I need to like it here. I need to play catch-up on making connections. It was scary. But it’s not hard to feel at home at UMD.

“Becoming a Bulldog makes you a part of this wonderfully supportive community. It really put me at ease and set the tone for an amazing college experience.”

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Jessica Goertzen, Kristin, and Will Charles all worked at Glensheen. All three were also transfer students.

Are you involved in any clubs/organizations?
“I was actually a transfer student mentor for the Transfer Student Connect program for three semesters. I was part of the first batch of mentors, and it’s been such a rewarding experience all around.”

Did you hear about or are you involved with any internship or job shadow opportunities?
“I’m currently a Public Relations intern for the Swenson College of Science and Engineering.”

Do you work on-campus and/or off-campus?
“Along with my internship, I also work off-campus at the mall doing retail.”

What has been your favorite class so far?
“My second semester here, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I had switched from a Teaching Communication and Literature major to just Communication, and I was still figuring my life out. So, on a whim, I decided to take Reporting and Writing 1 with Professor Kearston Wesner. I loved it. She got us out on campus and into the community writing and reporting. This class gave me a connection to the Duluth community that I hadn’t established before. I got to meet new people and experience new places and I had found the minor I had been looking for. This class basically changed the course of my college experience. It gave me a passion for community involvement and introduced me to so many aspects of Duluth and UMD that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.”

Do you have a favorite professor?
“The Communication and Journalism departments have the best staff I’ve ever worked with. I can’t pick a favorite, because all the professors are so unique and gifted in their own ways. I took something away from every class had, and I’m so grateful to have been part of such amazing departments.”

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Kristin’s Intramural Broomball Team. Woot!

What has been your best memory at UMD?
“The first thing that comes to mind is hockey games. I’m sure after I write this, I’ll think of something else, but looking back at these three years, there’s something that sticks out about the hockey games. Not one in particular, but the experience of all of them. They’re a place to show your school spirit, to hang out with friends, and to make memories. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the rouser, saying thanks to the announcer when he gave us the time warning, the crowd going wild every time a goal was scored, and the exhilaration of being surrounded by that many enthusiastic Bulldogs.”

Were you involved in Transfer Student Connect?
“Yep! It’s a program that I wish had existed my first semester here. Having that extra support system in a mentor has proved to be so beneficial in the transfer process, plus connecting with other transfer students is so helpful. These are people who are going through a similar situation, and just having people around to relate to is amazing. Transferring is unique to every student, but sharing the experience definitely makes it easier.”

What would you have done differently when choosing a college?
“Honestly, nothing. I wouldn’t change a thing in my experience. Sometimes you need that trial-and-error to finally end up where you belong.”

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Emma Dufault (also from Crookston) and Kristin enjoying the Duluth’s scenic Lakewalk.

What was your biggest fear about transferring and how did you overcome it?
“Meeting people. It’s why I last-minute joined a Rock Group. I just realized I had to put myself out there, plus I joined a few random clubs my first few weeks. While I didn’t stay with them, it gave me the confidence to go and at least try to meet people.”

Do you have any advice for other students who are considering transferring to UMD?
“If you’re transferring from another U of M institution, and I cannot stress this enough, HAVE ITSS CHANGE YOUR EMAIL TO A DULUTH ONE. I actually did PSEO at UM-Crookston in high school, and was informed that not changing my email was the best decision. It was not. It was the worst decision. Trust me on this one. The one thing I would change about my time at UMD is not having to explain to everyone why I had a email instead of a one.”