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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

I can almost guarantee that everyone has found starting college to be one of the most stressful situations they have ever been through. There are a million things that run through a freshman’s mind when they finally step foot on a college campus as a student. Will I like it here? Will people like me? How hard is the transition going to be? Will I like my professors? Basically, any question dealing with starting a new school runs through the mind. Those first couple months of college are hard for everyone, but they are even harder during a pandemic. How is someone going to meet their future friends when they can only see their face on a computer screen? The one positive thing about being a freshman is that everyone is new and looking for friends. Now try being a transfer student during a pandemic. You don’t have other students desperate to make friends because they have already established their friend groups. Now, transfer students have to stress about meeting new people, joining clubs (that are not able to meet in person), and transitioning into college AGAIN, all while doing so during a pandemic that may send them home the next day. Stressful right? Well, this has been my experience since stepping on campus this August. 

All during quarantine, I had been mentally preparing to make the transfer from my small liberal arts school to Saint Louis University. I would be going somewhere with a larger population, a larger city and further away from home. I knew that it would be a little difficult at first. Starting a new school always is, but I was prepared to step out of my comfort zone and become a Billiken as fast as possible. Well, as much as COVID-19 would allow me. I knew that the semester would be a little unusual and different from the way things usually are. The majority of classes would be on Zoom, and those classes that would be in-person would be perfect for anti-social people. This caused the largest amount of anxiety for me. It looked like it was going to be a very lonely first semester. Luckily, I wasn’t the only transfer that was dealing with this fear. 

Over the summer, I had been searching for another transfer student to be my roommate. In doing so, I ended up meeting my current roommate, Harper. Like me, she was also very anxious about starting college again. Leading up to move-in day, and for days afterwards, we were both unable to eat because of nerves. The stress of not knowing anyone or anything was getting to us both. While I was extremely uncomfortable about being in a new environment, it was nice to have another person that was feeling the same way. Desperate to make friends, we ended up going door to door introducing ourselves to the people living on our floor and asking them if they would like to go get dinner with us. Now me being an introvert, I would never be able to do something like this in another situation, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We ended up meeting some really nice people who we are now able to say “hello” to when passing on campus. While we were feeling a bit better about our new environment, we were still feeling very isolated from the rest of the students. That’s when fate gave us a helping hand…

Apparently, there had been a GroupMe created for transfer students. We discovered that some of the other transfers had already met and gotten to have a tour of the campus together. Harper and I were shocked to hear about this! How had we missed all this happening? Did we just miss our chance at making friends with some other transfer students? Right as we were in the middle of having a breakdown, another transfer sent a message in the group chat. She said that, like us, she was unaware that the transfers had been meeting. We decided to reach out to her because we assumed that she was probably feeling the same way as us. That was one of the best decisions we could have made because she was feeling just as lost as us. My group of lonely transfers had now grown to three. But it did not stop there. Right as the three of us were getting to know each other, we found another girl that happened to be a transfer student too. She, like me, had transferred from a liberal arts college close to my hometown, so we understood each other in that sense. Her addition to our group made four.

While it can still feel a little overwhelming being on a new campus, it is nice to have friends that are in a similar situation. The fact that we are transfers has created a connection amongst us. Well that, and the fact that we all love sushi. While I still do not know that many people, having a couple friends has helped greatly. Going through a transition is always easier if you have someone to go through it with you. 

Throughout my experience of being a transfer student, I have faced many challenges. There have been many days where I have been forced out of my comfort zone, but they have been worth it. I have finally found the school where I am supposed to be, and I have created some new, fun friendships. I have also found strength within myself that I did not know that I had. It is extremely difficult to be a new student, transfer or freshmen, during this time. However, everyone going through it should know that they are stronger than they think. Ultimately, everyone should know that they will get through this, and they will come out stronger on the other side.


Mary Beth attends Saint Louis University and is studying communications and history. She loves to travel and has a major addiction to books.