7 Pieces of Advice for College Transfers: A Survival Guide

The ONU Survival Guide

It’s day one on campus. Everything is new and intimidating. Students are shuffling to class with the occasional long board blowing past, the building names don’t make sense, and the dining hall is serving pork that looks eerily similar to chicken. You are a transfer student, but it kind of feels like freshman year all over again.

Transferring colleges can be one of the scariest, yet most rewarding moments in life. But how do you get from the feeling of sheer intimidation to experiencing some of your best memories? Below are seven pieces of advice from current transfer students who made the most of their experience.

Take Initiative

It’s so easy to go to class then immediately head home. Try your hardest to avoid this! Get out, go to events, and look for new and fun opportunities. Simply go alone or ask the people you live with to join you. If you wait for others to come to you, you could be waiting a while. Jessica Kennedy, senior transfer student says, “This is college, so enjoy it and take advantage of all the opportunities … take initiative.”

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

For transfer students, this may be going to college in a different state, leaving home for the first time, or even taking a new class. Everyone has heard the famous quote that says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Would this be a popular quote if it wasn’t true? This is a piece of advice that everyone hears, but it is much easier said than done. However, these four years provide an opportunity for growth every single day, so take that step, or leap, and go for it.

Utilize Your Advisors

Transferring is a process, but that is what your advisors are here for. It is their job to make you feel comfortable and excited to be where you are. Come prepared with questions about the campus, student life, academics, and more. This is an incredible way to get a feel for what the campus is going to be like. Kassie Ross, junior transfer student says, “My advisor was a God send. I wouldn’t even be at this school if it wasn’t for her fighting for me.” This is what picking a school is all about, being in a place where you feel wanted.

Be Patient

“It took me a year to realize there is so much more to a college career than going to class. Give it time and you’ll begin to feel more comfortable,” Jessica said. There are very few things in life that happen overnight. Be patient, put yourself out there, and it will eventually start to feel right. Transition periods in life are always a challenge, but one day you’ll ask yourself what you were ever worried about in the first place.

Don’t Let the Sticker Price Scare You

Often times the sticker price for a university is exceptionally scary and it tends to bring some unwanted anxiety. Make sure you talk to a financial advisor! There are so many different financial aid and scholarship opportunities available that some students forget to consider. Every office at your transfer college should want to help students as much as possible and the financial aid office should be no exception. Stick with it and examine all possibilities before you write it off as a no.

Make Sure Your Credits Transfer

This is arguably one of the biggest concerns when it comes to transferring schools – as it should be! Use tip #3 and utilize your advisors to know exactly what courses are transferring in and what that looks like in regards to your major. That being said, don’t settle. Find a school that is willing to work with you and be clear with you on your credits.

You’re Not the Only One

Sometimes the transfer experience can feel lonely because it feels like you’re the only one going through such a huge change. You’re entering into a school where you may not know anyone and you have convinced yourself everyone already knows each other and has all their friends. Please be reassured, you are not alone. There are so many students transferring colleges all over the nation for a variety of different reasons. It can feel stressful and new, but embrace the change and be excited for all the opportunities ahead. Trust this step.

One day you’ll look back at your time at the place you transferred to and you will be so glad you took that step. So hold on, because this will be a ride you will never forget.

students in lecture ONU

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