First impressions: A transfer story

How WAHS is seen by a former SAHS student

    While I was alone on a plane to a different state, my transfer went through. The message gleamed across my phone screen and the strangers seated next to me flinched at my squeal of joy.  My heart soared because at once I knew: I wouldn’t be alone anymore.

    After finishing my second year at South Albany High School, I made the decision to apply for a transfer to West Albany.  South was truly a magical experience that I will never be able to match, but it was not what I had expected at all. West is wildly different in that it is exactly what I expected from a high school.  Despite my disdain for the ordinary, I was better fit to be a Bulldog.

    One obvious difference between the two schools is the literal structure.  South has an open campus where you can catch a few raindrops in fall, see the first snow in winter, pick daisies in spring, and even get sunburnt in the final days before summer.  I got to experience all of these things on ordinary days walking to class. At West, crowded hallways with strange nooks and long lines of lockers are on display. West’s attempt to orient me with constant repetition of the “waffle iron” analogy was pointless—just like the numbered buildings failed me at South.  Even after many months at both schools, I still run the risk of becoming lost.

    While at South, I had the privilege of practicing theatre under my incredible director, Benjamin Sell.  Some of my best memories are from the Elizabeth Bentley theater and its ghost, Cuthbert. The theatre program at West is smaller and I haven’t tried out for any shows, but walking into the Little Theater still feels a bit like coming home.

    I was overjoyed to find that a few of my favorite things didn’t change during the transfer. West’s band plays ‘Hey Baby’ with the same elation as South’s.  Hearing it reminds me of my best friend, who also left South. Both dance teams are hard-working and love what they do. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to watch them perform.  I’ve formed endearing bonds with lunch servers, seen the Friday night lights, and been to unruly pep assemblies, just like I did before.


    When talking to my friends, I still hear myself refer to South as “my school” and West as “their school”.  It can take a while to really feel at home somewhere, and I often wish I could’ve stayed at South. I miss the intricately woven traditions; the complex social network; the foundation of camaraderie that I built in that space.  I have so much love for that school, yet I know that I made the right decision. West has already been an adventure. I was welcomed with open arms, found and lost an incredible boyfriend, and have been taken care of by the staff, who put immense effort into their jobs. I want to thank South for the memories, and thank West for becoming a new home.