You think freshman year is hard? Try being a transfer student and having to go through that awkward-where-the-hell-am-I phase twice. This is the reality for us transfer students, it’s a long process that can be extremely difficult but in the long run leads to a happier and healthier college experience for many of us. Here is a list of the many difficulties I encountered as a transfer student at UNH!
1. The fear of possibly regretting your decision to transfer.
The thought had crossed my mind once or twice that there was the possibility I could regret my decision when transferring to UNH. When transferring to any school there are so many decisions to make such as when to transfer, where to transfer to, where you are going to live and then telling your friends and school you are transferring. So many people have a different option and advice about whether to transfer or not but ultimately the decision is all up to you and it can be a lot of pressure. The future is unknown, are you going to like your new school better? Will you make friends? Will you be happier? What if I regret transferring and want to transfer back?
2. Going from a school where you knew no one to a school where you know everyone (or visa versa).
I transferred from a school that was 800 miles away from my hometown, back to UNH where more than half my high school went to. It can be a blessing or a curse. On the one hand you will see familiar faces which can make coming to a new school easier (or harder depending on if you like them) but at the same time it can make branching out harder.
3. Having to make new friends all over again.
This can be the hardest part about being a transfer student. Coming in either mid-school year or at the beginning of the year makes finding friends difficult, it seems like almost everyone has their friend group and you are just stuck on the outside all alone. Simply finding someone to go to dinner with or out on the weekends can seem like an impossible task. You learn to be assertive and invite yourself into other people’s plans.
4. Missing your friends from your old school.
When you have to put in extra effort to make friends at your new school, you can really start to miss how easy it was with your old friends. It might be easy to leave the school behind, but to leave some of the best friends you have ever made behind is so hard. Especially if the school you are transferring from is far so traveling to go visit them is expensive and inconvenient.
5. Getting lost around campus.
You get so used to where everything is at your old school that when you transfer you have to learn a whole new map. You knew where all your classes where and where all the buildings where now you have to walk around looking like a lost freshman trying to find where the dining hall is.
6. Adjusting to the campus size.
Adjusting to a different campus size whether it is a larger or smaller campus is tricky, you can go from all your classes being a simple 5-minute walk to having to take a bus all the way across Durham to attend your classes.
7. Adjusting to the student population size.
Same goes for the size of the student body, transferring from a larger school to a smaller one or a smaller school to a larger one can be a culture shock. Even if you wanted a small/larger student population it can still be weird adjusting to more/less people being around campus.
8. Getting used to the acronyms.
Every college has acronyms for almost EVERYTHING, it seems like there is never a dining hall that is ever called by its actual name. You are so used to the acronyms from your old school that when you get to your new school and hear one of theirs used it throws you off, then they look like you like you’re crazy (what do you mean? What’s a “HoCo”?)
9. Adapting to the social life.
I came from a school with a thriving downtown area where going to a bar or a club was the norm for anyone 18 and older. Every day of the week there was a different bar that was the place to go and then frats on the Thursday-Sunday. But where I transferred to, the bar scene is strictly for 21 and older and so for us underclassmen folk we have to rely on house parties and frats.
10. Trying to get involved with student organizations.
Almost every school has clubs and activities to get involved with while you are attending, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that what may be popular to join at one school can be completely different for another. For example a lot of schools down south have a large Greek life where more than half the student body is involved but for a lot of northern schools Greek life is just starting to become big. Some schools are big into sports while others have all D-3 teams. When transferring this can be hard especially if your new school doesn’t offer the organizations that you were involved with at your old school.
11. Constantly comparing the schools
It is really hard not to compare your two schools especially when there were aspects of your old school that you loved and some parts of your new school that you hate. Even though the school you transferred to is probably much different than the school you came from (or else you really wouldn’t be transferring) there will still be times that you will catch yourself saying “well at my old school…”
12. Always getting asked why you transferred.
People are always shocked to learn that you are a transfer student then they are curious about why you transferred and if you like your new school better. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “why I didn’t like my old school” (which wasn’t the case) and why I transferred to UNH, I would be rich.
13. Learning the different academic structure.
Academics seem to be a major reason in peoples decisions to transfer, whether it is transferring to pursue a major at a school with a better program or feeling like you are not getting the education you are paying for. You still have to get used to the way the program at your new school is ran or like in my case you might transfer and change your major completely.
14. Some of your credits won’t transfer.
UGH, easily the most stressful part about transferring. Having to retake a class because your school won’t accept it from your old school or all of the Gen Ed courses at your old school are completely different from your new one and basically your whole freshman year was a waste of money. When credits don’t transfer you run the risk of not graduating on time.
15. Meeting another transfer student.
When you run into someone and you find out they too are a transfer student its like an instant connection, a unique feature you cant bond other with just anyone. Although this is great and you have someone to talk to about all the struggles of transferring, it is important to not compare how they are adjusting to the school to how you are. Some people transfer adjust like they have been there since the beginning, while others it can be a challenge and it takes a while to feel fully adjusted to your new school.
What are some other struggles every transfer student faces? Comment below with some advice for our readers! Share this article with friends!
Featured image source: linnawelfred.blogspot.com,
Kelly is a UNH Sophomore studying Psychology and Family Studies. She is a Greys Anatomy binge watcher, Animal Rights Activist, and is pretty sure she will end up alone in life with 102 cats.