The Transfer Student Wahoo

By Kara Williams

   A UVA transfer student is not the typical Wahoo, and can usually be detected no matter how many UVA sweat shirts they buy. These students may be seen driving through campus with recently purchased UVA stickers neatly attached to their car windows. The desire to fit into a new college could cause the transfer student to strive to be the stereotypical Wahoo -- or the opposite effect could occur. The student could show no signs of trying to be a Wahoo but instead focus mainly on being a student.

Transfer Wahoos may not have the school spirit that "traditional" Wahoos possess. For example, a student who has gone to George Mason for two years prior to coming to UVA may not feel that they are a true Wahoo and therefore may not attend all the sports events or other activities on campus. It seems they would prefer to look like the uninterested, studious type rather than the naked guy painted orange and blue who is rolling down "the hill" at half time during a football game.

Striving "to be somebody" at UVA isn't hard for transfer students. When meeting new people in classes or walking across the lawn, a typical question in the conversation may sound something like this, "What year are you?" The transfer student feels compelled to answer, "I actually transferred here this semester." They blurt this excuse out to make up for their not being a true Wahoo. In the excitement of the conversation they forget that the questioner was actually asking what year they are in. The person inquiring may respond with a nod of the head and reply, "Oh, I see." The transfer student is then systematically lumped into a category of "transfer student."

There is actually a transfer student welcoming committee that sends the student a letter previous to enrollment. The letter basically tells the student how to be a Wahoo. The student may laugh while reading how important it is to call the different schools of the university by their socially accepted abbreviations and where the best places to eat on "the Corner" are found. Is it so important that they need a three page letter explaining the new terms? This comes off as comical to someone who is unfamiliar with the guidebook on "Becoming a Wahoo."