Six months ago I decided to escape the heat of the South and transfer from a college in Austin, TX up here to the University of New Hampshire. Bright-eyed and ready for university life, I was excited to be starting at a school with over 13,000 students! Here’s a little bit of information I wish I had known before starting school here in order to help make the transition a little easier.
Move In Day:
Showing up to a new campus with a car full of everything you own, not knowing what your room that you have been assigned to live in for the next 9 months will look like, and the potential for your new roomies to be your best friends or worst enemies, are all nerve racking events to look forward to on move in day. However, fear not, you will be greeted by the smiling faces of student volunteers eager to help make this scary day as easy as possible and if you’re lucky, roomies just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them!
Day Before First Day of Classes:
Usually as a transfer student to UNH, you will move in on a Saturday and won’t start classes until Monday so that leaves you one day to pull your life together and get stuff done. Sunday is the day you figure stuff out. Learn the walk to the gym, maybe find a shortcut, learn where all your favorite equipment is, maybe try to make a friend there, hit lunch on the way back from the gym (Stilling’s Dining Hall and Wild Kitty are good choices close to the rec center), grab a map and your roommate and go figure out where all your classes are so you won’t look like a freshman on the first day, attend any community activities hosted by your apartment complex or dorm, and try a different dining hall for dinner. Also, try to unpack everything you bring by this day because you won’t do it later. Another task to accomplish this day is to go to Rite Aid and grab a couple of the $4.99 “Durham” t-shirts they keep in the front by the cash registers, these are an essential part of your UNH college wardrobe; not a day will go by that you won’t see students wearing these are campus.
First Day of Classes:
This is it, the first day! Get up early, put on an outfit you feel confident and comfortable to walk a lot in, hit a dining hall or a café downtown (Saxby’s or Aroma Joe’s are good choices) for breakfast, and head to class! As a transfer student, you might be stuck in a lot of classes where the majority of your classmates are freshman but no worries, just sit near the front and be confident that you know what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to talk to the people sitting next to you. Try to meet up with your roommate for lunch but if your schedules don’t match up, it’s okay, half the people in the dining halls eat alone anyway. If you didn’t make it in the morning, try to make it to the rec center after your classes! There are always fun group exercise classes to hit (great way to meet new people) or if a group workout isn’t your setting, there are lots of different sections in the rec center with different equipment.
It is critical your first week at UNH to go see an advisor and make sure all your credits from your previous college transferred here and to make sure you are in all the right classes either for your major or for your intended major. Another great thing to accomplish your first week is to learn all the shortcuts and different paths you can take to each of your classes and learn where all of the café’s and dining halls are on campus in relation to your classes. By the first week you should also check out the UNH bookstore in the MUB, Town and Campus, and Hayden Sports for some fun UNH gear so you will be ready for the football game! Also, start looking up and thinking about what clubs and organizations on campus you would be interested in, that way when University Day (where all of the clubs, organizations, and businesses around UNH and Durham come together) comes around (usually the second to third week of classes), you will already have a feel for what tables you want to visit.
By the second week of classes, you should have or should be working on personally introducing yourself to all your professors. They really enjoy connecting a name to a face and it’s good for them to know you when it comes time for final grades and you need those few extra points in order to achieve the next letter grade. You should also know where important things are around campus, such as: the Dimond Library (right in the middle of campus behind T-Hall), Hannaford’s (in the Mill Plaza right by downtown), the Memorial Union Building (a.k.a. the MUB, on Main St. across the street from Health Services and the President’s House), Health Services (right behind Paul College across from the MUB), the Math Center (a.k.a. the MAC, in the basement of Christensen), and the Hamel Recreation Center (connected to the Whittemore Center, on Edgewood Rd. behind the New Hampshire Hall).
Now having accomplished all of these things you are ready and capable of having a fantastic school year with nothing to hold you down. Go Wildcats!