First of all, let me be the first to say it: adjusting to a new college as a transfer student is always difficult, especially if you don’t know anyone at the new school. I’m usually pretty good at adapting to new situations and scenery; however, when I graduated from a community college in my hometown and transferred to a university, my system was shocked. There were a few people that I went to high school with at this school, one of which was my roommate. Neither of us are the most outgoing of people, so we didn’t go out or do much other than go to school and work. I met a friend on Tinder, so I hung out with him on the weekends sometimes, but other than that I stayed at home – tucked away in my comfort zone. This was my first big NO-NO.
Get out of your comfort zone.
As a transfer student, you’re in the unappealing position of trying to get comfortable in a place where people have already snuggled in. But that’s okay. Get out there and squeeze yourself in right next to them, no matter how uncomfortable it may be at first. Get involved and join a club. Talk to the people around you in your classes. Meeting people is super easy if you actually try.
Try new things.
After you get out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to try new things. Not everyone enjoys going out and “partying” all the time, but it’s not a bad idea to go out and be social. Whether this means going to a party you wouldn’t have necessarily thought about going to before, participating in events organized by the school, or simply joining a club that you never considered prior – doing these things puts you out there and opens the doors of opportunity to meet new people (the key to adjusting to a new school as a transfer student).
Don’t forget about your academics.
As a transfer student or not, do not forget about your academics. Having fun in college is important, but it’s also important to remember why you’re even in college in the first place. Is it just to have fun? No, I didn’t think so. After transferring from a community college, I was hit hard with a new way of teaching and learning. I had to do a lot more reading of materials on my own, as well as a lot of extra studying. Don’t wait until the last minute to do things and learn how to manage your time wisely.
Occupy your time.
If you have the time and ability, and I mean IF; get a part time job. If you have a few extra hours a week, see if you can use them to make a few extra bucks. Not only is the money well worth it, but you’ll be kept so busy and occupied from your job that you’ll stress less about whether or not your adequately adjusting to the new school. On campus jobs are also a great way to meet more students and get more acclimated to your school.
Take this new college as an opportunity to be the real you, someone that you want to be – not who you used to be. Remember, as a transfer student, you are more or less starting over! Take advantage that you will be surrounded by a lot people that you don’t know and don’t know you. It’s almost like having a fresh start, which don’t come along very often. Enjoy it.
The bottom line is that adjusting to a new college as a transfer student is hard, especially when you’re older, and it isn’t always easy to meet new people and get comfortable with new surroundings. Just don’t be afraid to try things to help you find your place.