What It's Like Being a Transfer Student at OU

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I was born and bred to be a Sooner. My parents met at OU and got married shortly after. However, I didn't take their path. At least, I thought I wouldn't, but during the fall of my sophomore year, I chose to apply to the University of Oklahoma to transfer the following fall.

Leaving Colorado State, where I was close to home and my friends was going to be challenging. But I embraced the challenge. I got my coveted acceptance letter a few weeks after I had applied to OU. As the semester continued on, I was unhappy. I was itching to leave. I needed to go somewhere else and I needed to start new.

After a long discussion with Admissions, I was accepted for the spring semester. I packed up my apartment in Fort Collins and spent my winter break preparing to move to Norman, Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, transfer students are defined as "undergraduate students who have attended an accredited college or university or have attempted more than six semester hours, excluding remedial work or credit hours accumulated as a concurrently-enrolled high school student."

In Fall of 2015, 1,301 transfer students enrolled, making up 18.3% of new students in 2015. 2016 saw a slight decrease in enrollments with 1,135 transfer students enrolling in the fall semester. In the last four years, 8,620 transfer students have enrolled from 48 of 50 states.

Being a transfer student is challenging. But adding in being a transfer student mid year, it's even harder. People are set into routines and are already involved. I felt like I was on the outside, even though I was standing in the middle of the South Oval.

I carried my phone with the campus map wherever I went for the first week. I knew the basics, but I felt clueless and confused. I relied heavily on my parents' knowledge of the campus and the processes that they went through a long time ago.

But I kept going. I became familiar with the buildings, found my classes, and started meeting other students. I recognized a few from my home state of Colorado. I decided to participate in informal spring rush and ended up being matched with a sorority chapter.

I met a lot of college aged women who were passionate about doing good and who were kind enough to introduce me to Norman's precious gems like Old School Bagel, Pizza Shop, The Mont, The Diner, Syrup, and many others that I still frequent. I found other ways to get involved. I got to volunteer, participate in philanthropy events, and even sing along to some Hilary Duff.

It was hard being away from home and not being able to go home whenever I wanted. But I grew as a student. I was able to find what I was passionate about and found my home in Gaylord College of Journalism. Soon after, I found a job I loved and the rest confirmed that I had made the best decision for myself.

If you're considering transferring to another university or college, do your research on the schools you'd like to apply to. Take advantage of the resources that the schools provide, like admissions counselors, and attend potential student events. The more you put yourself out there, research where you're going, and make a plan, the more successful you will be. Don't be shy to reach out to transfer advisors, upperclassmen, fellow transfer students, or professors to make this the best process you can make.

I'm proud to follow in my parents' footsteps. I'm proud to be a transfer student at the University of Oklahoma. This process was lengthy, challenging, and at times I wanted to back to Colorado. But it taught me that I am stronger and more capable than I think I am.

And I wouldn't do it anywhere else.