I Transferred as a Junior...and Survived Month One

Change is scary. Change after two and a half years of routine and familiarity? Even scarier. As a junior in college, you would have thought that I knew my old school wasn’t the place for me. However, acknowledging that you are unhappy and not getting the most out of what should be “the greatest time of your life” is hard to admit.

After a night of tears and frustrations, I was able to. I admitted that my old school was not the place for me and the search for a new chapter, a fresh start began. I had a short window to seize this opportunity: only about four weeks to find a new home. Fortunately for me, after two and a half years as a college student, I knew exactly what I wanted. The other piece of the puzzle? I am a D1 volleyball player. Which meant I not only needed to find a new school for the academics, but I needed a team and a program that would push me and support me in being the best I can be. So naturally, I made a checklist. A list of requirements if you will.

Big school. Excellent volleyball program. Incredible teammates. Collegetown life. Elementary Education program. Stellar football team and tailgates. And somewhat close to home.

Only one school met my list of demands… West Virginia University.

So here I am, my head has finally stopped spinning, and I did it!! I survived month one of being the “new girl”. Transfer students get thrown into the heat of things; our lives are completely uprooted as we start over. Everyone else knows what they are doing and where to go, but us? It’s survival of the fittest out here. Don't worry. I compiled a list of tips to help.

 

1. Ask for help!

I can not stress this enough. It may feel like you need to have everything figured out, you don’t. Use your resources. Talk to your academic advisors, talk to your professors, have a friend or roommate show you the ropes. Take a buddy and have them show you where your classes are and ask for tips when it comes to parking, transportation and shortcuts especially if you go to school on a big campus. Believe me, no one wants to see you fail and will more often than not happily help you.

2. Do a mini-walkthrough.

Save yourself the embarrassment of walking into the wrong classroom on the first day (Trust me, I’ve been there). Grab a friend, roommate, teammate or advisor and physically walk out your class schedule. Do this before the first day of class and I promise you will feel (and look) much more confident on the first day.

3. Say yes.

As cliche as this sounds, I haven't regretted it yet. If someone asks if you want to get dinner, say yes. Even if you aren't hungry, chances are you will meet new people in the dining hall or food court. If someone asks if you want to tag along somewhere on the weekend, go! Say yes to everything and put yourself out there. It is the easiest and fastest way to get to know your new school and meet new people.

4. Get involved.

Go to the basketball game, a football game or even the rowing meet. Support your school. Athletics are often such a big part of the college experience and as an athlete, we always love and appreciate the support. One of the first things I did that first week was to check out the clubs and activities that WVU offered by googling my college’s club list. The beginning of a semester is the perfect time to join a club and chances are you won’t be the only new face.

5. Breathe

Your head will be spinning. It honestly may never stop, but don’t forget to breathe. More than likely, you’ve moved to a different state, you live with new people and are taking completely different classes. It’s okay to feel like everything is moving a mile a minute. Take some time to do some things for you. Call your mom. Take a nap. Go find the best ice cream place in town. Binge watch murder mysteries on Netflix.

Whether you are transferring after just one semester or two years in, find what works for you. Find what makes you happy. It will take some trial and error. It will feel uncomfortable and scary at times, but I promise that you will survive. Admitting you weren’t happy at your old school was the biggest hurdle. Adjusting to your new home? You totally got this!