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Advice for Transfer Students

1. Go to Academic Advising

One of the hardest aspects of transferring to another school is dealing with TRANSFER CREDITS. Suddenly, the three credit hour class you worked so hard for means absolutely nothing. Transferring tends to make it harder to graduate on time, so be sure to visit your advisor. Literally, make your advisor your BFF! They will be able to help reassess transfer credits, find possible summer courses, and plan out all of your future semesters in order to help you graduate on time. Visiting them as early as possible is key. If you put off seeing them for too long, it may be too late for them to help you. They are paid to help you, so take advantage of that!


2. Go to Office Hours

Like advisors, professors are there to help you! It’s very important to make personal connections with your professors throughout your college career. Not only can it help your grade, but they are the ones who write your recommendations for postgraduate programs and potential jobs. Your program’s professors are those who you’ll most likely have throughout most of your college career, so making an early first impression on them is essential. As a transfer student, you are already coming in late on making relationships with your professors. While all students need to do this, it is harder for transfers who have less time to do so. Building relationships in college are important, and it is easier when it is done sooner rather than later!


3. Get Involved

A great way to get to know your new campus and your new classmates are by getting involved! Whether it’s by joining Greek life, getting involved in a club related to your major, or volunteering at your local hospital, there are so many ways to play an active role in your community. It tends to be hard to make new friends as a transfer student when you’re coming in so late in the game, so surrounding yourself with people that have similar interests as you can make such a difference. Actively engaging in events and with others on your campus can lead to a better sense of belonging. Transitioning from one school to another will be much easier once you make personal connections with those around you!


4. Join the Transfer Student Facebook Group

Yes, Facebook is outdated and home to old people everywhere, but it’s also a great place to meet other transfers! There is typically a Facebook group dedicated to transfers at your school, and you can join at the click of a button. Connecting with other transfers is important because they know what you’re going through and they’re a great resource of information. It’s your own transfer student support group!

Transfer-specific events are usually advertised in these groups, which are helpful with the transition. These events can range from get-togethers to info programs, and they’re usually more helpful than the first-year events. First-year events and advice tend to be geared more towards those who have never attended college before, which can be frustrating for transfers as transfers need specific help that is built for helping their transition from one school to another. Unfortunately, first-year events are broadcasted more widely on campus than transfer events, so get on Facebook and find your people!


5. Broadcast That You’re a Transfer

This last one seems strange and a little intimidating, but make it be known that you are a transfer student! First-year students are automatically given the best resources and guidance when getting to college, but that’s not always the case with transfer students. Although they’re also first-years, information is not nearly as accessible to them. Some RAs are not even trained to help transfer students. It comes more naturally to say that you are a “sophomore,” “junior,” or “senior” since you have attended college before. However, transfers are first-years to their new college and are as lost on campus as a freshman. Explaining your transfer status typically leads to a level of better understanding, whether it be with educators or fellow students. Transfers tend to get ignored, so make yourself visible and ask for help when you need it. On top of that, broadcast that you’re a transfer because you should be proud of it! You have experience at more than one college, and you had the bravery to seek happiness elsewhere. Your college experience is unique and sets apart from others.


Emmy Barcelona

Chapel Hill '19

A senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emmy is majoring in English and Psychology.
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