It’s no secret that heading off to college can be a tough transition. Fortunately, incoming freshmen find themselves surrounded by people who are in the exact same position. As a transfer student, this safety blanket appears to vanish. The feeling of “everyone is in the same position as me” can be hard to maintain.
Making a new group of friends and finding your way around a new school can be stressful. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Others have made the transition successfully, and you can too. Here are our 7 favorite secrets to adjusting to a new college as a transfer student.
Meet Other Transfer Students
Every year, new students transfer into every college. Sure, it may seem like everyone around you is lifelong friends. In reality, they’re not. To find other students who are in the exact same boat as you, seek out other transfer students.
One great way to meet other transfer students is to attend your new school’s orientation. Anyone attending an orientation is certain to be a new student, just like you.
Join a Facebook group for transfer students. Most colleges already have one, but if yours doesn’t, consider creating one. If you join the group before the semester starts, you might even be able to find a potential new roommate.
Join Interesting Clubs
Explore all the various clubs and intramural sports your school has to offer. Most schools host events at the beginning of each semester so that clubs and organizations can recruit new members. Look for these events, seek out the clubs you have interest in, and ask questions to learn more info.
Find one or two clubs that sound interesting and attend the first few meetings. This can be a great way to meet people with similar interests, while also discovering new hobbies.
Get to Class Early
Don’t be the student that rushes into class just as the professor is starting the lecture. Make a point to get to class 5 or 10 minutes early so that you can get to know your classmates. You may make great friends or you might find a few study partners. This is also a great time to exchange numbers and email addresses so you can share notes from class.
Find Your Ideal Work Space
The bigger the college, the more study spaces there will be. From the main library to a communal space in a dorm to a coffee shop off campus, check out the various places where other students go to study and work.
Finding an ideal study space will make it easier to get your work done so you can free up time for more social events. Whether you prefer to study alone or in a group, having a great location where you can focus can be a huge relief.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t expect to find your new best friend on the first day of school. When it comes to making friends and meeting new people, be realistic in your expectations.
Talk to people in your dorm, chat with classmates, and don’t be afraid to start up a conversation at a coffee shop or cafe. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find friends who suit your personality and style. Meeting new people is part of the college experience, so be patient and enjoy the process.
It takes time to build strong relationships. Some people like having large groups of friends while others prefer to have a few close friends. Whatever your preference is, take the time to get to know people so you can surround yourself with the right friends.
Meet Your Advisor
When transitioning to a new school, it’s essential to get to know your advisor. Programs, requirements, and prerequisites vary from school to school, so make sure you know what’s expected of you.
Your advisor can recommend classes and share insight to put you on the path to graduation. They will let you know what classes you must take and recommend classes you might want to take. The student/advisor relationship is an important one, especially for a transfer student.
Don’t be afraid to ask your advisor for suggestions on how to improve your overall experience. Take their advice about clubs, organizations, programs, and all aspects of campus life. A good relationship with your advisor is certain to make your college experience a little smoother.
Fake It Until You Make It
Regardless of your age or situation, adjusting to a new school can be difficult. Confidence is the first step to succeeding in all aspects of your college life. If you don’t feel confident, pretend that you do. Exuding confidence helps build confidence, and confidence leads to success.
Showing confidence will make it easier to make friends. It will make your professors take notice of you. It will be beneficial when it comes time to find a new job or internship. Confidence is important in every area of life, and college is the perfect time to start building confidence in yourself.
As a transfer student arriving at a new school, there are steps you can take to ease into the transition. Connect with other transfer students. Join a few clubs and organizations. Get to know your advisor so you understand the new requirements. Find a great workspace where you can focus on your studies. Set goals and set realistic expectations for yourself. With these tips and tricks in mind, you just might find that transferring schools was the best decision you ever made.
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