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What it’s like to be a Transfer Student

I made the decision to transfer for my junior year to The Pennsylvania State University, and it was absolutely terrifying. The campus was ginormous, so big that its mandatory to have 15 minutes between classes in order to get to your next class on time. And as of 2017, 98,783 students were enrolled there. For most students in their junior year, they have found their group of friends and their place at the school. It wasn’t easy coming in so late — all I could think about was how I should’ve never transferred or that I should’ve started out at a four-year college. There were so many clubs and activities I wanted to be a part of, and new people I couldn’t wait to meet, but would any of them accept me? 


I gave myself a pep talk and forced myself to sign up for the things I wanted to do. I mean, I am paying to be there like everyone else, might as well join the things while I still had 2 years left.

The first club meeting was for women in business, as we went around and introduced ourselves, it seemed that every new member was either a freshman or sophomore which made my insecure to tell everyone I was a junior. I left that meeting and never went back. The next club was for debates, I never did a debate in high school but was always interested in them. Again, we went around and introduced ourselves, and all new members were either freshmen or sophomores, also never went back to this one either. I even went and rushed a sorority, but every person that interviewed me assumed I was a freshmen or sophomore, and sometimes I was too embarrassed to tell them otherwise. I had completely given up on joining any school club. 

Through my roommates, I had met some people, but these people never became my friends, just people I know. I’d only see them if I was with one of my roommates, and if I had seen them otherwise, they would act like they don’t know me. It never bothered me until there was an incident with my living situation, which lead to me not speaking to my roommates, which then lead me to never seeing their friends again. So, there went my shot to meeting new people.

I realized that I can’t just sit and wait for someone to introduce me to friends, I had to find my own because it didn’t seem that my roommates’ friends were open to bringing in strangers.  I also came to the realization that I can’t just give up on joining a club. 

It can be scary as a transfer student, you’re new, and you may think you know things but once you get to school everything is different. My advice is to pursue what you want, take advantage of the opportunities that your school gives you and don’t let being the new student hold you back. 

Eventually I found my place. It did take some time, but I would have never found it had I just given up. If you fight through the fear, you’ll meet new people, new experiences, and find where you belong. 

McKenzie is a senior at The Pennsylvania State University studying Communications Arts & Sciences. A born and raised Jersey Girl who loves fashion. She spends her free time writing and indulging in self-help books. She plans to go into HR Consulting after graduating.