College is a time of many changes. Choosing where to go is the first step. You may opt to go to a university that requires you to the live in a dorm, in which some major lifestyle modifications must be made. On the other hand, you may decide to stay home and attend a 2-year community college, in which you’ll need to adjust to a new daily schedule. Or you may choose to do both, transferring from community college to a 4-year university, in which case – kudos.
I am a freshman in college. In the fall of my senior year of high school, I had my list of colleges picked out. Upon attending one school open house, I had fallen in love. Salisbury University would be my home for the next four years. But in March of 2015, I received a rather strange letter. Salisbury had indeed accepted me, but for the spring of 2016. Initially, this did not seem ideal; but looking back now, I know it was a great opportunity. Eventually, I decided to attend community college for the first semester and then transfer to Salisbury in the spring. So if any of you readers find yourself in the same shoes, here are a few tips for transferring from community college.
1. Enjoy your extended time at home.
I know you just can’t wait to get away from the craziness that is your family. I felt the same way. I was excited at the idea of being away at college. But when the end of the summer arrived and I saw how insane my friends were going trying to pack up 18 years of their life, I felt relieved that I had extra time. I was able to spend more time with my family, my dogs, and my friends who also chose the community college path. Those four months were spent slowly, little by little, gathering my supplies for Salisbury. By the time January came around, I didn’t feel rushed at all.
2. Save money while you can.
That first semester, I was able to work as much as time allowed. However, I’m horrible at prioritizing (when it comes to my income) and did very little saving – something I really wish I had. Trust me, after transferring from community college to live on an actual campus, you’re going to wish that you didn’t spend $30 on that super cute pair of boots that you’ve only worn once. In my first week at Salisbury, I learned the true meaning of budgeting.
3. Cherish the little things.
The one thing I truly miss is my shower. I actually look forward to going back home just to shower. After living in a dorm for 5 minutes you’ll quickly learn that shower shoes are a necessity and privacy is no longer an option. Odds are, you’ll be sharing a bathroom with anywhere from 3 other people, to a whole floor of people. If you’re unlucky like I am, you’ll have two toilets and one shower “stall,” closed by a flimsy curtain, to share with 9 other girls.
4. Appreciate your privacy.
If you’re transferring from community college to a university where you’ll be living in dorms, you’ll definitely have to get used to giving up a lot of your privacy. Unless you’re some magical genie, chances are you will have a roommate – and that quiet little room you used to enjoy in solitude at home is no longer. You’ll soon discover the downfalls of living in a shared space….like how loud that cheap 5-cup coffee maker can be at 7 in the morning, or how difficult it is to quietly tuck yourself into bed at 5 am after a night of partying, or my favorite: how loud and long alarm clocks actually are.
5. Enjoy your time at BOTH schools.
Transitioning from community college to a university is a huge step. Don’t take those extra moments you have at home for granted, but also be open to the new chapter that lays ahead. You will have to learn a new way of life – but guess what – every other student there had to do the same (you’re just a little late to the game)! You’ll start meeting people and experiencing things that you wouldn’t have gotten the chance to if you were still at home. So enjoy the next 4 years, but always remember school comes first. Priorities. Welcome to the adult chapter.