New College Blues: How To Adjust As A Transfer
Transferring can be hard. Beyond figuring out all that paperwork that you thought was behind you, here you are in a brand new school, adjusting all over again. Yes, you will be oriented, but much of what freshmen learn, you are already familiar; you know how to manage your money so that you can afford food for the entire semester, you know how to balance your study time so that you actually get to sleep. But there is still quite a bit that is challenging about a new college. Here are some tips on how to find your way as a transfer student.
Attend As Many Orientation Activities As You Can
Chances are you are not the only transfer student at your new school. Orientation may seem lame, especially since you’ve done it before, but it is a great way to meet other people who are feeling just as uncomfortable and confused as you are. You will meet other transfers that have similar experiences and you may even take some clueless freshmen under your wing. This is a great bonding time, not to mention you will probably get endless free food, which is not something to scoff at when you are a broke college student.
Give Yourself Time
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have friends within the first few days, even if it seems like everyone else has found someone. Don’t get stressed out if you are not immediately on par with the other students in your classes, either. People are different, that is something we celebrate; we learn and adjust at different paces and that is completely okay. The best way to make friends or figure out new environs is to feel comfortable. And to feel comfortable you’ll first need to stop freaking out and thinking there is something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you! Take your time and adjust at your own speed.
Learn Where to Go
Colleges share many similarities, however the way things are presented and represented may differ. One thing that you should definitely make a priority of doing is figuring out what resources lay where. Learn where you should go if you have class troubles, learn the procedure for getting help with career planning etc. In short, have a game plan if the adjustment is not going exactly the way you planned.
Join a Club
Whether you are a joiner or not, there is probably at least one thing that you enjoy doing that can be shared with other people. If a club does not exist for that thing, start your own! Shared interests are obviously a great way to build relationships and those relationships will help to make you feel normal and assimilated at your new school. You’ll meet people that can tell you where a film buff like you can catch those indie flicks or where the foodie in you can feel at one with the local harvest. Club membership perks extend far beyond the actual focus of the club, they help members come out of their shells and relax a bit, all the while learning more about the new school and surroundings.
Check out the Community
College students tend to stick to their campus, which usually causes tense town/gown relationships and this is a shame. College towns frequently cater very much to their young visitors and there is a lot to be explored here. Come out of your bubble and volunteer or just join in that music festival or art walk! Of course this is advice that can apply to anyone, not just transfers, but as an older, more mature newbie, you may feel more comfortable venturing out and hey, this might be another way to make friends and feel like you belong.