A Transfer Student's Survival Guide

Transferring colleges can be rough. Whether it be from a two-year community college or another four-year undergraduate school, the transition always requires a ton of adjusting. This transition won’t be easy, but it will get easier day by day. In order to speed up that adjusting process, here are a few pieces of advice on how to get acclimated to your new university.

1. Get involved on campus

Most universities will hold some sort of involvement fair early in the semester, which is the perfect opportunity to browse through organizations that may be of interest to you. I encourage you to put your email down for clubs that you aren’t 100% sure you want to join yet, because nothing is binding until you pay your club dues! 

Also, try not to solely join clubs for resume building or academic purposes. A huge part of college is about letting loose and finding your people! 

2. Roommates are important 

I get it. After freshman year, a lot of people decide that they are done sharing a room with someone else. Roommate living can be tough, however it can be extremely beneficial if you are a transfer student. 

If your roommate is a transfer student themselves, that can take a lot of stress off your back just knowing that the two of you are enduring the same struggles. You can make plans to explore campus together, try a new dining hall, or make other friends on your floor together. 

Surprisingly, it’s also great if your roommate has already gone to the university for a year or two. Although they may seem intimidating, I’m sure they would be open to showing you around campus, introducing you to their friends, and answering any questions you may have about clubs or classes. 

And if you and your roommate ultimately don’t vibe with each other? It’s a good learning experience! Now you know the type of person you want to live with in the future, and you’ve automatically become more mature by successfully co-existing in a crawl-space for an entire year. 

3. You are not the only transfer 

The fear of feeling like a freshman all over again is prevalent in almost everyone who decides to transfer. Fortunately, I can confidently debunk that theory. Transfers are their own breed; they don’t feel like freshmen, but it’s also hard to feel like a true sophomore or junior. 

Some schools will place all of the transfers together in a dorm hall, and if that’s the case for you, it is an amazing way to meet people who share the same values as you. If your school doesn’t do that, there will most likely be a transfer orientation before classes start up. This is a great way to meet people and exchange social media usernames so they will remember you when the semester starts! 

4. Don’t forget about your old school 

Whether you love or hate the university that you transferred from, it’s important to realize that the year or two you spent there has shaped you into who you are today. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but navigating yourself through a dark beginning of your college experience is difficult, especially when everyone around you seems to be having the time of their lives. 

If you created life-long friendships at your previous school, make an effort to keep in touch with those people. It’s healthy to start fresh at your new school, but that should never mean you have to cut out great relationships you’ve formed in a different place. 

Keep your memories close. Tell your new friends funny stories about your experiences at your old school, and keep a picture of you and your old roomie on your desk (only if she wasn’t crazy, of course). 

Let go of any regrets you might have about choosing that school in the first place, because I’m 99% sure that you have a handful of memories that you’ll find a hard time forgetting. 

5. Enjoy your time 

We all know college has its ups and downs. You can wake up in a sunshine-filled mood just to find out that you have three exams, an essay, and a group presentation all due within the next two weeks. But, it's also about eating pizza with your friends at two in the morning while you watch old vines. It’s wanting to give up more than anything, but continuing to type on knowing that soon enough this will all be worth it. 

So, who cares if you’re a transfer? It shows strength and independence in your personality. If you use these tips to adjust to your new school, you’ll be as happy as a clam.