Starting college can be hard. Starting over at a new college can be even harder. It’s difficult for college transfer students to feel included in their graduating class, it can be harder to make friends than students who have already been there, and adjusting to the atmosphere is easier said than done. Here are some quick tips to help ease your transfer to a new school.
Go to an orientation.
You may think that you don’t need to do this because you went through an orientation at your first school, and know “how college works” Forget what you already know and go! Transfer orientations are a great way to meet other transfer students, current students, and various faculty members. These orientations are generally smaller and more personal because there are less transfer students than freshman. You will also get to learn a lot about your new school and see how it is different than where you started your college journey. You may even meet your best friend at transfer orientation.
Connect with other students online.
Many colleges have Facebook groups for each class and for new students. Find your school’s groups and reach out to its members. You’ll find people with the same major, interests and more. It is a great way to find other college transfer students to hang out with those first few weeks before you find your place at school.
Live in a transfer dorm/floor.
Living on campus is a part of the “college experience” but as a college transfer student you aren’t going to want to live with a bunch a freshmen. See if your school has a transfer floor or even a transfer dorm. This way you will be living with people closer to your age and people who have similar college experiences. Sometimes being a transfer student can make you feel out of the loop, but other students who have also transferred will understand what it is like.
Befriend those in your major.
Since you are a transfer student, most of your classes are going to be upper level and within your major rather than the general education classes that are populated by freshmen. Get to know the people in your major because odds are you’ll be in a lot of classes with the same group of people. Having friends in your major helps you whenever there is a big paper, project or test coming up. Plus you’ll have friends that can relate to what it’s like to have a class with “that professor.”
Keep your door open.
This tip applies to anyone in college, especially in those first few weeks. Keeping your door open is a great way to meet the people you live with. People will randomly stop by to talk or to invite you to grab dinner at the dining hall with them. Keeping your door open helps integrate you into your new home and can get you to venture out of your room.
Comment your valentines name & I will add it to my door! Our Dorm door decorations for Valentine’s Day! TAG YOUR VALENTINE ! here is day one hopefully we get all the hearts filled! #valentine #tagyyourvalentine #dormdoor #dorm #universityoftoledo #holidaydoor #universityoftoledodorm #cute #decorations #valentinedecor
I cannot stress this one enough! In college you have so much free time between and after classes. It might be tempting to fill it with binge watching marathons on Netflix, but another way to help fill the time is to get involved. I recommend joining at least one club or organization. It is a great way to meet people with similar interests and to do something you love. Don’t see a club that is right for you? Start one! Ask around and see who else would be interested and find out your school’s system for starting new groups. You’d be amazed at what you may have in common with the people you go to school with.
Get an on-campus job.
If you know you are going to need to get a part time job between classes, get one on campus rather than off campus. This is a great way for you to meet people that you go to school with rather than some townies and maybe one or two other students. Don’t really need a job? I still recommend getting an on-campus job. A lot of college bookstores look to hire people for the beginning and end of semesters during the textbook rush. It never hurts to earn some extra cash while meeting those who where the same colors as you.
Find your study space.
We can’t forget about the other side of college: academics. Find a place on your new campus where you’ll be able to get work done. Doing this at the beginning of the semester helps so that at midterms you aren’t rushing around looking for a place to study when you really need it.
Go to office hours.
As a transfer student, you are likely going to be diving into your major courses. Depending on your school’s size, you will have some of the professors multiple times. Introduce yourself and get to know them. Stop by office hours every so often, even if you don’t have a question about the class. Your professors are some of your biggest supporters. Let them get to know you so that when you need the help, you aren’t just some nameless face. Getting to know them early will help if things get tough.
Go to the career center early.
As a transfer student you are further in your college journey and closer to your career. Your career center has many resources to help you out. Having a relationship with the career center staff early will help you get internships and land that post graduation job.
Relax and have fun!
College is all about new experiences. Don’t let the being a college transfer student in a new environment stress you out too much. Go out and have fun. Plan on doing something that first week with the friends you made online or at orientation. Form a study group with people from your major. Find out the cool hang-out spot on campus and go. There are endless possibilities when it comes to college, so go out and enjoy!