Deborah Paul began thinking about transferring almost as soon as she got to Eastern Nazarene College. “It was a really small school, so there were not many clubs or activities. I knew that I wanted to transfer right away – but I didn’t know where.”
Deborah had an unusual problem in choosing a destination school. I did not want to go to UMass Lowell because my brother was here – he had an amazing experience – but I didn't want to be known only as his little sister.”
She changed her mind when she came to visit. “We walked across campus and he was saying hi to everyone. There was a huge feeling of community here. You’d never know this place was so big, because everyone seemed to know everyone.”
So Deborah made the move and transferred here. She considered herself a pre-med student, but she chose to major in sociology. “I wanted to study something that was going to be fun and something I can really enjoy. Sociology is amazing.”
She liked being at a bigger school, but appreciated the small size of her department. “The faculty gives us lots of personal attention. I have an amazing bond with my adviser.” 
She’s also grateful for the way people on campus reached out to welcome her. “There is a lot of support for transfers. The transfer student honor society reached out to see if I needed help finding where my classes were, and at finals, they sent a newsletter about how to deal with stress.”
Deborah quickly figured out how to make friends beyond the people she knew through her brother. She joined the Alternative Spring Break program – spending a week painting the interior of the historic Pawtucket Congregational Church in Lowell, the Christian student fellowship and the pre-health professions club. 
“Without these clubs, I wouldn't have made as successful a transition. They gave me a way to connect with other students. 
“My favorite thing about this place is the diversity. There are so many different types of people here. I know we gravitate toward people who are like us, thinking they will understand us, but I find myself talking to athletes, to musicians, to all sorts of people who are really different from me. They all seem very welcoming. There’s a great sense of community at UMass Lowell.”