Transfer Anxiety: My First Week as a UMD Transfer Junior

When I first arrived at the University of Maryland, I was incredibly wary of the large campus. My old campus was small and easy to navigate. I was forced to print out a map I found online of UMD’s campus, but to my dismay, it would not fit on one page.

When I finally figured out how to squish the map inside the parameters, it was impossible to read the names of the buildings. I eventually decided to give in and to use the map provided by The Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

I felt like the ultimate freshman, but I had been in college for two years already. Shouldn’t I be able to find a classroom without a map? Well, apparently not. The next day, my roommate had to help me find the elusive Susquehanna that even my freshman map and college experience could not find.

As if finding my classes was not hard enough, I then realized that I had no friends at UMD, other than my roommates. This meant that I had to meet people, which is not one of my finer skills.

This fact definitely showed, because by lunchtime on the Thursday of my first week, I had still not made any new friends. It is not that I did not talk to people, because I did. I made small-talk in class and met some pretty interesting people. The thing I find difficult is going from chit-chat to actually becoming friends.

I was stressed and lonely and I went to eat at Stamp all by myself. I sat where I could find space, which was in the middle of a table that already held a few students.

I began to eat my meal in silence when suddenly some random guy asked me about my pizza. Suddenly, a light shined down from above, and cliché gospel music rang in my ears. This was it. I could feel it.

We had a nice, normal conversation; one you would expect from college students. When he was getting ready to leave, I awkwardly asked for his number, the whole time thinking, “please don’t think I’m hitting on you I just really need a friend.” That is how I made my first friend at UMD.

When I was done with lunch, I began the 20 minute trek back to my apartment and all of a sudden, I just happened to see my ex-boyfriend. Running into people you know is almost always anxiety-inducing. On top of that, I was not aware he still attended this university. I ended up stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and kind of…staring at him. It was the most awkward occurrence of the day and I am really thankful he did not see me because I would have looked like a total creep.

I eventually regained my composure and walked the rest of the way home. When I got there, my roommate wanted me to go shopping with her so I of course obliged. We were walking out the door, and there was this sweet little grey cat hanging out on the steps right outside of the building.

I opened the door and my roommate started freaking out about this cat. She actually hid behind me. The tiny cat walked right up to me and started nuzzling my leg. It had a collar so I tried to check if there was any identification attached. Meanwhile, my roommate was going on about how she hates cats and how I needed to ‘get that thing’ away from her.

As my roommate freaked out over the little cat, I resolved that my earlier fretting about maps, friends, and ex-boyfriends was not as silly as I thought. Apparently, we all get anxious and worked up over something.  I kept on petting the cat but I eventually took pity on my roommate and shooed it away.

My roommate and I went shopping and luckily, we did not see any more stray cats. As we shared in the experience of picking out clothes and hunting for bargains, I began to feel more at ease. Perhaps college was not going to be as scary as I had originally thought. I had my roommates for advice, my embarrassing map in case I got lost, and my new pizza-loving friend, and that was a start.