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A Transfer Student’s Guide to SMU

To all those transfer students roaming Dallas Hall Lawn, welcome to SMU! I was in your shoes last semester, and I know how daunting it can be. You’re coming into a school where it seems like everyone knows everyone, your classmates already have their best friends and there’s no room for you. It can be really frustrating. You put in all of this hard work to get here and then once you’re here, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. But have no fear! Here is a quick guide to starting your acclimation into the world of SMU. I promise it gets easier.

 

1. Talk to people. Not randos walking around campus. Talk to the people sitting next to you in class. This doesn’t have to be the awkward, “Hi I’m Jane Transfer.” Instead, ask them how they like the class so far, or if they watched the football game on Saturday. Just start a conversation. Maybe you’ll get a study buddy or an occasional coffee date out of it!

2. Go to the SMU Orgs website. Going to club meetings was the easiest way I found friends. I showed up to club meetings (note: even after they had already held a few) and said I was interested in the topic, and would love to hear about what they did. It just gave me a space with students who were interested in the same topics I was, and gave me an hour a week to hang out. It came with the added bonus of recognizing students around campus, which definitely made me feel more comfortable.

3. Go to events. You may feel awkward if you have no one to go with, so start small. Go to an event with students in your major, like a lecture. Besides the fact that they usually have free food, it will help other students start to recognize you. Maybe you’ll find the one person who you can then go with to bigger events, like the Boulevard or off-campus events. Having just one person to call when you want to hang out is great, but you can only meet that person by leaving your room.

4. Use campus resources. I know everyone says this, but in your case, it’s true. Being a transfer student means you are likely dealing with transferring credits, lagging in general requirements or just feeling lost in SMU’s system. Talk to your advisor and the career center and your major advisor. These people can help you figure out what you need to take, where you can get an internship and generally help you succeed in your new school.

5. Ask for help. It’s okay that you don’t really know what’s going on. Let people know that you’re a transfer student and might need a little help. Students are generally   happy to point you in the right direction. It’s usually a great conversation starter anyway, so that helps too.

6. Put yourself out there. You’re new, and you don’t know anyone. Here’s the hard truth: no one knows you either. Help them get to know you by showing up wherever to your fellow Mustangs are. And I mean actually being there, not sitting in a corner on your phone. Don’t expect people to connect with you if you’re not putting in the work, too.

7. Smile at people. We’re in Texas, we’re friendly by nature!

I know all this talk of campus resources and clubs and on-campus events sounds really lame. But trust me, all it takes is going to one event and meeting one person to make you feel like you belong on this campus as much as anyone else.

Dalya is a senior at SMU studying Advertising and Jewish Studies. She is President of Advertising Club and Associate Editor of Her Campus SMU and is the social media coordinator for Intergem Fine Jewelry at Dallas Market Center. She is a proud born and bred Texan, an amatuer foodie, and takes her coffee black. 
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