A College Student's Guide To Transferring

Changing schools no matter your age is hard.  Transferring in college, in my opinion, can be the hardest kind of transition. While it might be hard academically like in high school, there is the added difficulty of not knowing anyone. College classes are a whole new ball game, buildings change and you aren’t held up in one area with the same people for 7-8 hours a day like in high school. That lack of consistency is extremely difficult to overcome.

Coming into college as a freshman, there are a lot of people in the same boat as you trying to find their place. For a transfer student, it can seem more difficult because the people your age and in your “grade” have already seemed to have figured it out. Sometimes classes don’t transfer so you can feel behind academically or you might not know anyone at your new college and feel behind socially. There seems to always be one or another reason to feel like you are an outsider.

If you aren’t the overly outgoing person like me, making friends and getting involved can seem like a nightmare. Even if you are outgoing it can be hard to do those things if you feel that you are behind. As a Transfer student myself, I’ve found that a few things can make a world of difference in your college experience.

Live on campus:

Having an apartment/house seems like a wonderful idea, but if you are new to a campus/school then living on campus can be a way to feel connected. Either from your roommates or your neighbors, you can find a sense of community.

Join a club/intramural team:

A great way to meet people with the same interest as you is through a club. Clubs are a big part of every campus. It can be a club about social issues to a club where you meet people that share your hobbies. If sports are your thing then a club sport or even intramurals can be great. Clubs and Intramurals are a great way to bond with people and make those connections without feeling like an outsider.

Join a ministry:

This can be a variety of things. Join a core group, join a Church, or volunteer r with a church’s events. In the South there are a TON of opportunities for a student to be involved in a ministry, but if your religion is something different then there are still opportunities out there for you. If you feel like there isn’t one there for you then create one. College is a great time to make your mark.

Study in public places:

Being held up in your room is not going to get you anywhere if you’re trying to do well at a new campus. Go to a local coffee/smoothie/ice cream shop. Go to the library. All these places are most likely going to have other students there, doing the same thing as you. Maybe you’ll see someone from one of your classes and you go study with them.

Put yourself out there:

The most important thing for you to do though is just put yourself out there. There will be a time of awkwardness and not knowing how to be involved, but you won’t know until you try. Putting yourself out there can be the worst feeling but once you find your friends and your rhythm on this campus you’ll be able to let out that breath you’ve been holding and know it was all worth it.