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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The actual definition of transfer shock refers to students’ process when they transition from one higher-level institution to another. This may lead to a decline in grades and an overall feeling of culture shock.

When transferring from Broward College, I thought transfer shock would not affect me, but after my first week at FIU, I was astonished – shocked even – at the differences.

Let’s start with the location; I grew up in Davie (a town in Broward County, Florida) and have lived there my entire life. Life gets monotonous in Broward because there is not much to do; sometimes my friends and I would hang out at our local Walmart because there was nowhere to go. I’m sure Miami is the same way if you have lived there your entire life, but right now, it is like a brand new city to me. Another difference is that almost everyone speaks Spanish. Miami is a city that has a very dominant Hispanic population, which makes the location culturally diverse compared to the rest of Florida.

Moving onto coursework and classes… Going into my third week, I am very overwhelmed and understand how the work piles on. I took AP classes and dual enrollment classes in high school, but the workload for my classes caught me off guard. I think this is partly due to the fact that expectations placed on someone in high school and college are vastly different and contribute to the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Transition is a significant change, and individuals must know that most people are going through similar feelings. This is a list of things I did to make myself feel less overwhelmed:

  1. Buy a planner – I can see what assignments and events I have coming up with a planner and Canvas. This helps me stay up to date and rarely get caught off guard.
  2. Talk to my advisors – Advisors can guide you through the transfer process. At first, all the classes may seem intimidating but with a little assistance, it can become easier.
  3. Join an organization – Joining an organization may seem daunting, but it is a perfect way to get involved on campus.
Angel is a junior majoring in Political Science at Florida International University. After she graduates, she hopes to attend law school, later practicing criminal law. She enjoys politics, astrology, and the most random Netflix shows.
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