Last July, I made the decision to transfer to Sam Houston State University from the University of Houston, and each day it has proven to be the best decision of my life. There are so many things about Sam Houston that make my experience here far greater than any I ever had at UH.
To begin with, the staff here at Sam is constantly willing to aide in any way possible with anything they can. I’m not talking about professors and counselors, we will get to them later, I am talking about office staff such as the people in the Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid and Cashier’s offices. At University of Houston it was like pulling teeth to get any of these people to do anything for you-even if the assistance you were seeking was well within the job description of the said person. I have yet to encounter anyone at Sam unwilling to help graciously.
While I’m on the subject, let me move on to the professors. What a difference these few people have made in my life! Granted, I have only completed one full semester and experienced fewer professors than I suffered through at UH, but the difference has been quite drastic. For starters, the classes are about a quarter of the size allowing more one-on-one contact between teachers and students. The professors I have had are all very intelligent people and have actually motivated me to want to learn. Classes are interesting, ideas are thoroughly explained and grading is fair. These are characteristics that far too many of my classes at UH lacked. Not to mention half of the professors were foreigners and extremely difficult to understand. I have no problem with someone foreign teaching a class and once thought of it as a way to expand my knowledge, but when the person’s accent is so thick they are impossible to understand, I could not see how they were to increase my intelligence.
The campus here at Sam is beautiful and well kept. The campus at UH, though much larger than SHSU, was dreary and untidy. There were several fountains that had great potential but in the three years I was there, they never all worked at the same time.
The townspeople here are so friendly and eager to indulge in conversation. UH is smack in the middle of Third Ward in Houston, an area not known for its safe environment or friendly neighbors! In fact, one night while I was in class, someone stole my car from the campus parking lot.
Speaking of parking lots, I know students here are constantly complaining about the parking situation, but they have no idea what bad parking is. Try finding a spot among 12,000 spaces when you have nearly 32,000 students commuting each day.
On a more personal note, the greatest thing about living here is that my younger brother who is 20 and also attending Sam, is living with me. Justin and I never had a very good relationship and probably only ever spoke to one another because we were siblings and had to. Now, we speak to each other about all kinds of things, and not because we have to, but because we are friends. This move is the best thing I could have ever done for our relationship, because now we actually have a relationship.
All in all, I love being in Huntsville. I love this town and the school and the opportunities to grow and learn that I expect from a college but never received before. The transition has altered my life in such a significant way. This is one decision I will never regret and will forever hail as the best one I’ve ever made. Sometimes I am tempted to write the students at UH and let them know something so much greater is waiting for them, but maybe I am different than all of the others. Either way, I’ll never go back.