Here’s some transfer student advice from one transfer-er to another. I graduated from NYU but my first three semesters were spent being mega depressed and annoyed at Sarah Lawrence College. You may not know SLC but just think of it this way, it’s the school Julia Stiles really wanted to go to in 10 Things I Hate About You. Every transfer student has their reasons for leaving their first college but making the adjustment into a new school is like being a freshman all over again. No, really it is. 😦
1. ) Do all the things you thought were too lame to do when you were a freshman.
You know what I am talking about, all those orientation week type events: ice cream socials and walking tours. True facts: you do not want to be alone for the next few years and you probs want to make friends. Typically there are separate events set up for transfer students, take advantage of those. Join clubs, get involved, do things on campus to get to know your peers. Don’t worry, it will definitely be awkward but at the very least you’re not 18 anymore so you’re probably less awkward than before!
2.) Do not be intimidated by the phrase, “Everyone makes their friends freshman year and then they don’t bother to meet anybody else.”
This isn’t true. Usually what happens freshman year is that everyone is so scared of being alone they cling onto whoever is in close proximity. After that first year people start to realize that they don’t have much in common with those first few friends and they start to drift apart. That’s when you swoop in with all the good coffee and cheese and make a new bestie. You must keep mingling. It is difficult but you must never stop mingling!
3.) Work out your credits, girl.
You do not want to be caught without a certain amount of credits your senior year. Taking extra credits can cost you cash money, yo! While I didn’t have to pay for it, I did find myself taking on an 18 credit load my final semesters because I wasn’t paying attention, this meant an extra class on top of my internships and job. Not fun! Sit down with your advisor and if your advisor sucks as they often do, sit down with another knowledgable student or professor and make an actual academic plan. How many credits do you need to graduate? Which courses do you need to make up, if any? Are there any prerequisites you need to move forward?
4.) If you want to study abroad, find out what the requirements are.
At NYU it didn’t matter how many courses or credits I had, I was required to have a specific amount of time at the actual university before I could go abroad. I would encourage transfer students to go abroad because to be honest, it’s like freshman year again. Yes, a third freshman year! However, you’re in such a bizarre circumstance with everyone else that it makes it a lot easier to befriend people you normally wouldn’t have. Most of my friends from school I met while abroad or were other transfer students.
5.) If you can afford to, live on campus or near campus.
Yeah, this counts. If you want to feel more integrated into campus culture being present is kind of important. You’re just more likely to meet other students, go to more events and make yourself known to others.
[Image via. Shutter Stock/ Rido]