A Year As a Transfer Student

An old family photo of The Sharkey Family. Clockwise from top right: Charles, Jenna 22, Jake, and Nancy. (Jake Sharkey)

An old family photo of The Sharkey Family. Clockwise from top right: Charles, Jenna ’22, Jake, and Nancy. (Jake Sharkey)

Jake Sharkey, Business Manager

Before I tell you about my year at Pace, I want to go back to the beginning of why I came in the first place. During my sophomore year in college, after taking a yearlong break because of COVID, I became a RA (Resident Assistant) at my university. I was having the time of my life with new friends and residents. However, learning in my classes, I realized I wasn’t learning what they were teaching. My major was already hard enough, so I questioned if it was time to transfer schools, take my education seriously, and be more supported.

My sister Jenna Sharkey ’22 went here and pushed me to apply again to Pace, and I did as a joke. I first tried in my senior year of high school but got rejected. So, in one of my classes, I received an email from Pace to check my portal, and I read “Congrats,” and I knew I was in. I almost screamed in class, but now I can choose to go or stay at my university. However, on February 18th,2022, my entire world collapsed when I received a phone call from my mother telling me my father was in the hospital.


I was a state away in Rhode Island while they were in Connecticut. His health fluctuated all my life. However, he always bounced back, but it didn’t seem like it would this time. Later that night, I received another call from my mother that he passed away. Gone. My best friend was dead, and I wasn’t there to say goodbye. I cried to the point of dehydration.

After everything in March was Pace Bound, where I learned more about my school of Seidenberg and what potential success I could have here. I knew I needed to come here, and I made the right decision to do so. Being closer to home and feeling supported in my major were the two most important factors that made my acceptance say: YES, and I became a go-getter setter. Welcome to Pace University! I never thought I would be a first-year and transfer student while still studying for my undergraduate degree, but here we are.

I lived in the North Hall, and I honestly love it. I do not know why people hate it so much. But here I was again, the new kid and many of us were the new kid. I had a roommate for a second, but he moved out and into Alumni Hall, and I could not say I blamed him. So, I was alone again. There was not as much support for transfer students as for first-year students. We had a one-day orientation of just hours of presentations, and sure, I met people, but I forgot everything by the time I came back to campus in the fall. I did not know what to do when I moved in, I was thrown into it and expected to figure it out, but I had no idea where the rooms were. Did I know all the buildings? Yes but classes? Ha, not a chance.


As the first week came and went, it was a familiar yet different experience. The class will always be the same; however, the environment, building, students, and professor were all different, and I felt like an outcast of the new kid. Math sucked, as always. Luckily that moment lasted for a brief time since I received an email about a faculty mentor. I realized that I need one to be able to know what is going on and how to use everything at this school. Side note: I didn’t know how to use Classes for two weeks. I was used to Blackboard.

Anyway, that’s how I found my lifeline Jill Olimpieri, the most wonderful person I can count on. She became the person to ask all the questions I had about Pace and Seidenberg. After she calmed my nerves, I realized that I could like it here. I was so used to the city life in Providence that coming to Pleasantville for more of a slow life and an authentic traditional college campus was a shock. I couldn’t do what I wanted because I needed a vehicle from Point A to Point B, whereas before, I just walked.

The clubs I joined immediately were Pace Programming Board, The Pace Chronicle, and Pace Esports. I met wonderful people and different life forms and I am glad to be around them. I love to observe and watch how people act; they are friendly and excellent. I want to fit right in. One of my worries was trying to make friends all over again, and it did make me feel depressed because I would only hang out with them during club meetings and not go out together. There were a few occasions when I went off campus with friends and went somewhere, which was fun on its own. But as the Fall Semester passed, I kept to myself. I was a floater and loner. I was there when we had to be there; I put up a kind, friendly face and interacted with the people I needed to see. I was in my room vibing and talking to friends back home and at my old university.


I met this incredible woman named Colby Jenkins. She was the founder and a leader of nonprofit supporting women who took control and pivoted their lives and careers into a new direction; her story was inspiring, and I was honored to help her with my team for a class for her website. I also did standup comedy for the first time at the open mic during family weekend, and it was pretty great, but it went downhill from there. Fall went off without a hitch. I liked the education, and I met some wonderful people. I couldn’t wait for the new semester to start.

Spring Semester was here, and since the new change was coming, I decided to add a minor in Creative Writing to pursue and learn about becoming a TV writer. If working in the tech industry doesn’t work out, I have a backup career. New classes and new people to meet, and I was excited to learn for this semester. The winter break I had shook my life for a moment.

If you want to know, ask me. I don’t mind sharing. Learning has time management with my schedule, and waking up earlier was a struggle. Still, I made it to class… not always on time. Let me tell you about writing in the Disciples. That was like a stalker always around the corner, looking at you from a distance. You knew it was there, but you could do nothing about it unless you did the assignments bit by bit. However, February hit, and I was dreading that day. Sometimes I still couldn’t believe that he was gone. Still, we honored his memory of him by visiting family in New Jersey and talking about him extensively. I miss you, Dad. As the months went on, I became more lonesome, not going to clubs as much as I wanted. Assignments were a big part, but the idea of going out wasn’t that exciting.

I struggled with engaging, and my social battery was getting weaker to interact with friends and others to the point where I did wrong by so many people that couldn’t rely on me. March came, and it was the biggest event of the year personally, in my opinion, because The Pace Chronicle partnered with Entrance One with “Rep Your Celeb,” I have to admit that was the first time I had heard of this club, and what was more surprising that two of the E-board was in my writing in the disciples class. I didn’t even know that, so I talked to them about it more, and it was something I liked and wanted to help more which I did. I tried to live stream the event, but it went poorly. It worked, but god, was it awful. I was sad about myself but I became closer to Payton and Lisa after the event.


April was here, and we were getting closer to the end, so I decided to go out with a bang. I ran for SGA President, and my friend Isabelle was my Vice President. We wanted to make a difference, show how transparency is the best policy for everything, and make life easier for students as much as possible. I was stressed out and filled with anxiety. Who would want a transfer student they barely know and a freshman to run and try to make a difference? Luckily, I made my speech and answered questions the best I could, and it ended there. I wanted to campaign further, but my social battery was low, and my anxiety was high! That it was a wall to approach people about asking them questions. I couldn’t do it, and it showed I lost, but it wasn’t a total loss. Thanks to Nick and Paris for winning; I know they will do a better job than me. I was relieved when it was over so that I could return to my daily life. However, friends needed help, and I was there for them.

I went to an Entrance One meeting, and they were getting ready for their elections and the next big event, the “Blue & Golden Globes Awards.” As students were giving their speeches, there was an open vacancy for Treasurer. Since no one was running, I decided to run because I loved the club and its people. I felt my social battery get stronger. I was a shoo-in because I was the only one running. I did the same thing with the Pace Chronicle. I became Business Manager since no one else applied for it as well. I got the Treasurer and Business Manager positions and could not wait till the fall change.

Becoming these new positions, Entrance One rebranded in PMZ (Pace Media Zone). As a new E-board, we felt it was a better fit for us as a group and as individuals. The Pace Chronicle will get rebranded soon on the website because it can be better than before. Change is coming, and you better believe it will be amazing. I also took the time to enter some writing contests for TV Writers because my professor pushed me to, and I was excited to submit it. I never knew that IT and Writing could be as much a big part of my life as it is today. The Blue and Golden Globes Awards went off without a hitch, and it was fun helping make it memorable and fantastic.


The year is coming to a close, and finals are almost here. Do I regret transferring? Absolutely not, education is essential to me, and here I feel more confident. Do I miss my friends? Of course! Most of them graduated this year, and I am so proud of them. Did I learn anything here? Yes, I did; I realized it’s okay to take things slowly and adapt to the change around you. It is challenging to start fresh and new, but by the end, I got it. Do you still have anxiety? It will always be with me, but having people around you that believe in you lowers it. Who helped you adjust? Well, Jill Olimpieri, Harriet Fenner for being there, getting my schedule in order, and giving me the credits I need to graduate, and Leanne Keeley for being my first professor of the fall semester. Your personality helped me relax and taught me to be myself. Alysa Hantgan for being able to see that I actually might have talent in writing and for taking me under your wing and being friends with me, Heather Hayes for being so warm to me from the moment I met you when I entered PMZ, and lastly Rosemarie from Kessel she is an angel that made me feel that this campus is alright and I will be just fine. Thanks to Pace University and its resources like career services, shout out to them. I never thought I would get an internship, but here we are. I will be interning at Universal Music Group as Tech Support in the NYC offices this summer, and I can’t wait for summer to begin.

To those graduating, I wish nothing but the best for you and the rest of you, and  I cannot wait to see you this fall, 2023.