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How to Thrive Changing Colleges: Tips for Transfer Students

Transferring colleges can be a bit scary, but it can also be an extremely rewarding experience. It’s a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in new academic programs and expose yourself to new ideas and people. Still, the switch to a new school takes patience, courage, and positivity. If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and accept gradual change, you’ll be ready for the next exciting chapter of your college journey.

Go to Orientation

Attending orientation is one of the best ways to get a head start at your new school, whether the orientation is just for transfer students or is combined with other new incoming students. It’s an easy way to get acquainted with your college and colleagues since they’re just as new to the campus as you are. Orientations usually involve icebreaker activities with other students and on-campus events to help you form connections early on.

Get Involved On Campus

Your college campus is more than just a place to evolve academically. It’s also perfect for growing your interests and building a community. Every school has a Campus Life department dedicated to forming academic and social clubs, putting on events and gatherings, or coordinating off-campus activities. Find Campus Life on your new campus to see what’s happening and how you can mark your mark.

Go to Class Early

Getting to class early isn’t always easy or feasible depending on your schedule, but when it is, take the initiative to take your seat before the instructor arrives. This is a great way to get to know your classmates without having to put in a lot of effort. Those connections can turn into study partnerships or even quality friendships along the way, which are sometimes hard to find as a transfer student.

Find Your Campus Hangout

As you work on building bonds with other students, don’t forget to find a place where you feel comfortable on campus. Whether it’s a private nook in the library or a couch in the common areas, try to find at least one spot where you can relax, study, hang out, or socialize. It’s special spots on campus like these that also help make your new college feel a little bit more like home.

Get to Know Your Advisor

As you know, every student has an advisor they can turn to for academic support. But that’s not the only way to utilize them. Advisors have unique insight into the ins and outs of campus, especially when it comes to clubs or activities related to your degree program. They can be a great resource to get your foot in the door to these opportunities.

Manage Your Expectations

This might be one of the most important pieces of advice for transfer students. Remember to be realistic about your experiences on campus. You probably won’t find your new best friend the moment you step foot onto campus or feel totally at ease about switching schools the second the semester starts. These things can take a little bit of time, and that’s perfectly normal. Always keep a positive attitude and continue to put yourself out there. If you’re struggling, there are on-campus resources to help you, including campus counselors and Campus Life leaders.