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Making It Work: Thoughts From Transfer Students

By: Tiffani Rooney

We often hear stories about how to survive your freshman year of college, but what we don’t hear about are the trials and tribulations of a transfer student. I transferred to Loyola Marymount University in the Fall of 2015. I am not originally from California, so this truly was a fresh start for me, and let me tell you, I had QUITE the bumpy ride. Between living with difficult roommates, dealing with immature boys praying for catty women who desperately need a hobby, trying to adjust to a new school, and trying to create a vivid social life all at the same time, I was ready to pack my things and head to the hills – and not those in Hollywood. I eventually pulled myself together and took things into my own hands and turned it all around.

I asked some of my fellow transfer students (and closest gal pals) a few questions about their time here at LMU thus far. Here’s what they came up with:

 

What was the best/worst part about being an incoming transfer student?

“The best part of being an incoming transfer student is having the opportunity to start over. Although it is overwhelming to be in a new place with unfamiliar faces, it is nice to know you have the chance to “reinvent” yourself with a clean slate. The hardest part is the effort to remake yourself. It is incredibly hard to find your place in a new community when you don’t have anyone to lean on but yourself.” – Samantha Pitti ’18 (Transferred in Spring 2016 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst)

“The best part of being at a new university is taking advantage of everything it has to offer. LMU is also within a decent range distance wise of the best places to go in LA, so I love that. The worst part is having to re-adjust to another school and make new friends again, but everyone here is pretty chill so it wasn’t too bad.” – Alexis Papadopoulos ’18 (Transferred in Spring 2016 from Seattle University)

“The best part about being an incoming transfer student were the feelings of curiosity and wonder as I embarked on a new chapter in my life. Transferring in as a junior allowed me to learn from my mistakes at previous schools to better my experience at LMU. The worst part about being an incoming transfer student was not really knowing anyone. Since LMU is such a small school, I found that friend groups were already established and it would be up to me to find friends to hang out with. This was both intimidating and awkward at the same time because I didn’t want to intrude on friend groups, but I also didn’t want to be a loner for my last two years of college.” – Marissa Kitazumi ’17 (Transferred in Fall 2015 from California State University Northridge)

 

What piece of advice would you give incoming transfer students?

“I would say get involved at school so you can meet people outside of your classes and always go to the events because there is free food everywhere!” – Alexis

“As cliché as this is, GET INVOLVED. Unless you already know a lot of people at LMU, it may be a challenge to find a solid group of people to spend your time with. Join clubs, intramurals, ASLMU, etc. Even if you aren’t into Greek Life, give it a shot. You never know where you will find your home” – Marissa

 

Do you feel you completed everything you set out to do within your first semester/year here?

“I can confidently say that I have completed everything I set out to do within my first year here and it even exceeded my initial expectations. I got involved, I joined a sorority, made more friends than I ever imagined I would as a transfer, and I even found a solid group of amazing women to live with next year, which makes me even more excited to come back in the fall. It wasn’t easy, but transferring was definitely worth it.” – Marissa

“I set a lot of standards for myself, as we all tend to do, and some of these I will admit may have been too high to reach in one semester. I wanted to achieve all my goals the minute I got here and things did not go as planned. I wanted to have the perfect roommate, join a sorority, get a job on campus, join a few clubs, make relationships with my professors, and talk to as many of my peers as I could. As this semester comes to an end, I have found myself without a roommate, tending to a boring job on campus, and joining a sorority that I have quickly realized might not be the right thing for me. While nothing is perfect, I could not be happier with my choice to transfer because it is a challenging process that allows you to learn so much about yourself. It takes a lot of mental toughness to keep your head above water as a transfer student, and I am honored to have been accepted here.” – Samantha

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With all of that being said, I must offer my own advice as well! First, if your roommates suck, don’t wait until the last minute to switch. It will only get worse the more you try to stick it out, and there are probably plenty of other people around campus who are willing to switch rooms.

In regards to boys, First Lady Michelle Obama put it best: “There is no boy at this age that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education.” Yes, transferring to a new school with different (and possibly even better) options than the previous one is great, but there is no one that you should put before your schoolwork. When you find the person that truly cares about you, they won’t expect you to choose schoolwork or friends over them.

The same scenario applies to catty girls. It’s hard transferring into a new school where both friendships and relationships have already been established, or even destroyed. If these people are still plotting and scheming a year or two later, they honestly need a life. I like to compare them to a bug that won’t stop flying around your food. No, this doesn’t mean to squish them (as much as you might like to), it means It’s best to try to ignore them and go on with your life. You must constantly remind yourself that you’re here for SCHOOL! At times as a transfer student, it can feel like you’re playing “catch up” trying to make new friends and fit in, but don’t put 70% into your social life and 30% into your school work. Make an effort to put 50% into schoolwork and 50% into your social life, because it’s okay to miss a party here or there. What’s not okay is taking classes over because you allowed yourself to get so behind.

Lastly, the most important thing to enjoy yourself and learn something from every experience, whether it be good or bad. 

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