Orientation as a Transfer Student

It is a truth universally acknowledged that starting college somewhere where you know no one is terrifying. 


Now imagine doing that twice. 


Such is the struggle of a transfer student.  We are older and more experienced than Freshman, but still have to go through the same stress of starting over, and the same orientation.  That being said, there are some orientation experiences that are exclusive to Transfer (& more) students. 


1.*TMOAs are the best OAs.


Walking into orientation and immediately encountering a group of overly-excited people in extremely bright shirts can be a nauseating thing for students who have done this whole process before at other places.  However, somehow over the course of a week, they get to know you as peers, teach you everything you could possibly want to know about William & Mary life, and convince you to cheer louder than all the freshmen halls. 


*Transfers & More Orientation Aides


2.We understand there are significantly more Freshmen, but we appreciate any shout-out. 


Inevitably during any large group session during orientation, the speaker would only mention/speak to the incoming freshmen and our OAs (see point 1 about them being the best) would have to yell until they remembered we were there also.  We get it, we’ve been through it before, but it definitely made us appreciate the speakers that did include us. 


3.Class Registration is a special kind of nightmare.


While I’m sure that registration sucks for everyone, going through it as a transfer student for the first time has a specific set of challenges.  We are competing with current students, incoming freshmen, and having a ton of transfer credit that only counts as electives. Combine that with stressing about having to declare a major within the next year and you end up with a room full of stressed out transfer students at 7:30am on registration day.  




I’m sure that as a freshman at William & Mary, convocation is a special time.  But as a transfer student, it was definitely an amazing moment; for me, at least, it was the moment where I felt that I may have made the correct choice in uprooting my life and starting over.  To walk through a huge crowd of people who know nothing about you, but consider you a part of their family, their tribe, is a great way to start a new school year.