5 Steps All Transfer Students Should Make
Financial reasons, location, academics or otherwise, making the decision to transfer colleges can have you feeling like you’re taking the SATs all over again. Still, transferring to a new school doesn’t have to be all that scary of a process. Especially considering that in just a short period of time, you’ll be on your way to an academic setting that better meets your needs.
For the student ready to make the crossover, here are five of the best tips to keep in mind as you make your transition.
1. Pair Up With Your Advisors
Before you set the gears in motion, you’ll want to contact two people: your current college advisor and your future one. Letting your current school know that you’re hoping to make the change might sound odd, but you’d be surprised by the resources and support that they can give you. Set up a meeting with your first school advisor and let them know that you’re thinking about making the change. They’ll be able to give you the best advice on transferable courses at your school that are most likely to boost your application.
After you’re done talking to your current advisor, you’ll want to reach out to ones at the schools you’re applying to. Do this both before you apply and after you have received your acceptance letter. Getting in touch with potential advisors before the application process can help you to better understand the classes you will take and the degree that you’re pursuing. After you’ve made the transition you’ll want to stay in contact with these advisors so that you know how to stay on track. Confirm which credits will transfer over with you and ask how you can best make up for the ones that won’t.
No doubt you’ve already done quite a bit of research before making the decision to transfer. Still, in order to get yourself off on the right foot, you’ll want to know as much as you can about your new school. Remember, this transition will likely have you feeling life a freshman all over again. Consider those things that you learned about your school your first year and wish you’d known ever before setting foot on campus. Take those lessons and do your best to apply what you've learned to your future school before you get to campus. You’ll be way better off.
This is especially true because once you step on campus you’ll find yourself behind other students in some way or another. From academics to friendships, the students in your grade have already had some time to establish themselves in ways that you haven’t. If you don’t have the time our resources to get to campus a week ahead of time, find a map and study it. Learning about the path from your home to your classes will help you to feel less like a freshman and more at ease. Decrease your stress by signing up for classes that aren’t purely related to your degree either. Of course staying on track should be your priority, but if you can afford it look into classes and groups that can help you with your social transition. Improv classes, student government groups, and fraternities can be a huge asset to your social life during your transition.
3. Live On Campus
Sure, you’ve been there done that with dorm life, but don’t underestimate the value of campus housing in your new year. If the option is available to you, consider living on campus. Plenty of schools have dorms and apartments available to transfer students that can provide them with a fully immersive experience. While this decision is ultimately up to you, know that it can help you to better assimilate with the student body and make you feel more at home.
4. Dive In
Again, picking out a few clubs or organizations can be a great way to make friends during your transition. If you’ve made the decision to live off campus, your chances of making those pals that you made your first year significantly drops. Unlike freshman year, you won’t be shepherded into relationships like you did when you were in the dorms. Even if the idea of certain groups and organization didn’t appeal to you at your old school, give the ones at your new one a chance. Remember, every college has its own unique culture that should be given consideration.
5. Keep In Touch With Your Old School
Whether the switch was up to you or not, you don’t have to completely erase your history with your old school. While it’s important to stay focused at your new school, don’t forget the friends you met at your old one. As cool as your new school may be, it’s possible that you’ll feel a bit homesick every once in a while. Having friends around to talk about your transition or even come to visit can be therapeutic and help ease you into your new school. What’s more, you’ll want to stay in touch with your academic professors and advisors for references needed in the future.