Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

Transferring Schools: How to Make the Transition Easier

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

College is a time in our lives when we are dealing with many changes and growing responsibilities. It can become overwhelming for many different reasons. Juggling classes, organizations, jobs, sports, and social lives can seem impossible. An added difficulty for some students is transferring schools. 

Transferring particularly is a time when a student is uprooted and thrown into a new environment to try and learn a new school on top of all the other pressures and responsibilities they are trying to balance in their lives. There are positives of course. Transferring is a chance to experience more than one campus and meet a lot of new and different people. For many who transfer to find a better fit, they are able to find a place where they feel they belong.

However, it can also be a stressful process. I know that for me as a first-semester transfer student, it was very frustrating to feel I was just starting to settle in at my last university only to be forced to transfer due to unforeseen circumstances. Whether you transfer because of unexpected difficulties or because you are not happy where you are, it is completely natural to feel out of place when you are first starting out. It is important to think about ways to make the process easier on yourself. 

The first thing that will help make the transfer process go smoothly is getting in touch with advisors. I had a lot of help looking into my credits and how they could transfer more easily, and it was only because I asked for a lot of help. As a college student, you may need to be tracking down the people who will be able to help you because they won’t be tracking you down. Don’t wait for them to!

Getting in touch with advisors, the transfer office, and the head of my department was vital for making this a smooth process for me. Since transferring involves such different cases for each student that goes through it, you really have to take initiative and advocate for your credits and experience. Be sure to look into exactly how your classes have transferred in. Have any of your classes been rejected? Look into why that is and how you could potentially get credit for them. 

Another thing to think about as a transfer student is putting yourself out there. Meeting people in college is in many ways what it’s all about. This can be a daunting thing for many of us. If you are introverted, it may sound like a nightmare to try and meet new people in a whole new place. Trust me, stepping out of your comfort zone is almost always worth it. Look into clubs and events on campus or try to find a job. Introduce yourself to people in your dorm and be as brave as you can. Some people you may just not click with, and others may be in your life for a while. You never know who you may meet! 

Being adaptable is a skill you definitely need and will learn more of as a transfer student. As college students, we are already dealing with so much change all at once. Every individual’s path in college is different and comes with its own challenges. If transferring is one of your challenges, it is vital to be able to adapt to a new environment quickly. Learn your surroundings, be attentive to the geography of the campus. The more you challenge yourself to get somewhere without a map, the quicker you will be able to navigate with ease. Don’t be afraid to ask the people around you if they know any short cuts. That can save you a lot of time walking to and from classes. 

Something that has really been helping me through personally has been UMaine’s transfer living floor. It can be really helpful to meet people who understand the situation you are in as a transfer because they have been there themselves. If your school doesn’t have a specific dorm floor for transfer students, look out for any organizations that might provide that space. Ask advisors or the transfer admissions office if there is any way to get in contact with other transfer students. 

Transferring universities is a common path for many students today. If it is a process you are currently going through or are anxious about going through in the future, know that it may involve some effort to settle into. However, it is almost always worthwhile if you feel you need that change. Many other students are going through the same things that you are, and you are not alone.

Brianna Lemarier is a writer for the University of Maine chapter. She writes on topics that apply to students in different ways, including some specific to the University of Maine. Brianna is a Peer Advisor at UMaine's Career Center where she conducts resume and cover letter review appointments and workshops with students. She is a senior in the English major with a concentration in professional writing and a minor in creative writing. Brianna is passionate about stories and many forms of writing. She is content when she can read and drink coffee every single day. She believes in the power of communication to connect people and help them to understand each other and create a better world together. Instagram: @briannalemarier