What I've Learned So Far As a Transfer Student

Life can throw some pretty weird curveballs at you. At least that’s what I felt when I decided to start a brand new chapter at a brand new school. I thought that when I chose to go to a small, urban-like college near my hometown, it would be the perfect place for me. But it wasn’t. It was the complete opposite.

I’m only a second-semester freshman, so to get up and go to a new place six hours from home was very unexpected of me. I started out in a somewhat small, urban and very expensive college in New York City where I wanted to chase my dreams as a psychologist. My first two weeks were a mess there – I became very sick, felt overwhelmed and something in my gut was telling me, “This isn’t the right thing for you”. In October, I decided to transfer to WVU for the spring semester. Compared to my first two weeks in the city, my first two weeks here have been nothing short of great. I’ve also picked up a few things as a transfer student– the good and the bad.

 

Making new friends is much easier than expected.

Most transfer students have a fear that when they go to their new school, it will be difficult to make friends because everyone is already comfortable with each other. It can be a very anxious feeling. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to make friends here because everyone is so welcoming and cares about you, no matter if you’re a transfer or not. I’ve made friends in my classes, I go out with my roomie and I see my best friend from high school practically every day. I formed the most unexpected friendships in the first week. Almost everyone is looking to talk to someone new and form a new friendship, so a quick compliment or a quick “hello” can go a long way!

Getting involved can make the adjustment better.

Joining a club or some sort of organization can definitely help make the transition a little bit easier. Being surrounded by people who share the same interests as you can spark some friendly conversations. It’s also a great way to get yourself acclimated to the bustling campus life because WVU is always hosting some kind of event, and they have almost 500 student organizations! Every single student organization holds something for each student no matter your interests. Even if it’s just one organization, it gives you the opportunity to do something you love on campus.

Your professors and classes will not make you feel out of place.

Coming from a smaller school obviously means smaller class sizes, as the largest class I had was about 30 people. Now, some of my classes can go up to 200 people. It can feel overwhelming to have a bigger classroom setting if you’re coming from a smaller school, or just the thought of having a larger group of new people can be unsettling. Just like everyone else, you’re there to learn. Your professors will not treat you any different from the other students, and you won’t feel like you don’t belong there. You belong.

Everything from your old school is left behind.

When I first came to WVU, I felt more comfortable and at home than I did at my other school. My dorm room felt comfortable, and I felt right at home once I got into bed the first night I moved in here. Being at a new school means starting a new chapter in your life, and everything from your previous school can feel like you left it behind. I left all the memories I made in NYC behind to make room for the new ones I was about to make here. It felt like a fresh, new start was coming my way, and this is a similar feeling every transfer student can experience. It will start to feel like your home away from home.

It’s okay to change your path.

I realized halfway through my first semester that studying psychology was not my forte. I wanted something that could challenge me in the most creative way possible. I switched my major to journalism two weeks before I moved to WVU, and it was the best decision I made. It’s okay not knowing what you want to do when you start at a new school, whether if you’re undecided or not. Being a transfer student does not hold you back from changing your career path and should not stop you from choosing a career that’s best for you.

Appreciate the time you have here, even if it’s short.

College can go by like a breeze. Stressing yourself throughout the transfer process should not be your main concern. Just breathe, and appreciate the moments you have now and the moments you had at your old school. I realized that because I disliked my previous school so much, I didn’t appreciate the time I spent living in the city. Appreciating the little things about college can go a long way. Even if that walk up the stairs is tiring, just remember— you’re here for a reason and being a transfer student at WVU is a great experience.