College is a time for new experiences, friends and freedom you most likely never had while living with your parents. Many say college is the “best four years of your life,” and I can attest that the times I’ve had in college have been some of my best memories. But sometimes, the school you choose to start off your college career isn’t what you expected. Whether it’s the social atmosphere, or your school doesn’t offer enough resources for your major, making the decision to transfer schools is pretty intimidating.
If you are thinking of making the big switch, here are a few ways to feel a part of things at your new school.
Have an open mind
Changing schools can be an exhausting process, and feeling like you’re reliving freshman year again is disorienting. In my case, transferring from a small liberal arts college to a huge state school was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. It’s easy to turn down opportunities because you’re feeling scared or frustrated that transferring isn’t as easy and fun as you were imagining. Kick out those negative emotions and check out all that your new school has to offer!
Put yourself out there
Being alone at a new school can be scary, but it is going to be up to you to make plans and friends. Invite your roommates to lunch or form a study group in one (or more) of your classes. People are almost always more interested in being friends than you may think. A minute of discomfort could lead to solid friendships later on!
Connect with other transfer students
This is a great way to form bonds early on in your time at your school. All transfers can relate to the struggle of getting connected at a new school, and what better way to meet new people than venting to those that share your struggles?
This part is crucial. Almost every school will have an involvement fair at the beginning of each semester, so slip on some comfortable shoes and hit up as many tables as you can! Even if you don’t end up committing, getting an idea for the opportunities out there can be fun and help you get pumped for the coming semesters.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Feeling fully immersed at a new school doesn’t happen immediately, and it may even take up to a semester to feel normal. The first month at my new school was one of the hardest times of my life, but I eventually made it through (with countless tearful phone calls to my mom). It can seem tempting to curl up in your bed and feel sorry for yourself on a Friday night while scrolling through Snapchat and getting major F.O.M.O., but this will only set you back. Put your fear aside and send out a few texts. You never know what might happen!
While adjusting to a new school isn’t easy, it’s almost always worth it. Transferring schools was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I would easily do it again in a heartbeat. Good luck out there transfers!