5-Star Tips For Transfer Students

My decision to transfer out of a tiny liberal arts college in the Midwest (student population 1,350) to DePaul University (student population 23,500) was inspired by multiple negative reasons, but the most important was the school’s lack of a Journalism or Communication Department. By the end of my second year of college, my interests had pivoted towards Journalism and Communication, and my former college could no longer support my academic interests. As a January transfer student at DePaul, I rang in the new year with a fresh start at a new college. I’m slowly but surely learning the culture of this campus while also finding my way as a third-year transfer. Here’s some quick advice for any transfer student trying to integrate themselves into a brand new college community.


She Said Yes!

A wise woman once told me, “say yes to everything.” Say yes to every opportunity, every invitation sent your way. Avoid over-analyzing the invite, strip away the complexity of decision-making, and just say yes. Purposefully choose to participate in events that make you uncomfortable, but in a safe way (it is important to note that  always saying “yes” has its limits.) Also, instead of passing by the bulletin boards posted around campus, actually inspect the flyers. Flyers are your friends!


Email, Email, Email

If you missed the Involvement Fair in the fall, like I did, connect with organizations online by perusing DePaul’s 300+ student organizations. Email the President of whichever club(s) you’re interested in, and ask about the next general meeting. You have nothing to lose!


Ew, Group Projects…

It’s inevitable that you’ll be assigned a group project during the quarter, so why not make the best of it? You already have common ground with your peers...go ahead and take that next step by asking if they’d like to go for coffee or boba tea. One of my best group project experiences resulted from the group’s transparency and willingness to hang out outside of project meetings. When we presented our project, my group and I’s chemistry and level of cohesiveness was off the charts!


Expose Your Face

Attend student government meetings, sporting events, and the performing arts to gain an understanding of the political climate and campus culture. Even though your bedroom is aesthetically pleasing and so so so cozy, you should try to leave your room as often as possible to check out events and study elsewhere. Acquaint yourself with the campus’ study spaces and find your favorite study spot! Showing your face around campus, besides going to class, may lead to friendships made by face recognition and close proximity. You have to put yourself out there in order to be recognized.


Test Your Luck With Tinder

This suggestion requires a shameless attitude, a lot of perseverance, and positivity. Download and swipe through Tinder or whichever “dating” app you prefer with a goal of making new friends. Depending on which social scene you’d like to integrate yourself into, your bio can say many things, such as “take me to a party this weekend!” or “give me an insider’s tour around campus.” Again, this suggestion would require an immense amount of patience...because Tinder is Trash.