More than a third of college students transfer from one school to another during their undergraduate experience. It is often a difficult transition for transfer students, given that they must submerge themselves in a community that already has established friend groups and methodical routines
Many colleges do offer extra support for transfer students, such as orientation or special housing; still, there are transfer students like me that miss orientation and get a randomly selected housing assignment. It is clear then that the transition for transfer students is not only hard, but it is also lonely
Transfer students face several challenges in their shift from one school to the next. Here are five transfer student problems that people (or even you) may be suffering from on your campus
1. Not all of your credits transferred
Last semester was not your semester. Sometimes you tried, other times you didn’t. Your grades were OK, but they could have been way, way better. If you’re anything like me, you probably waited until the last minute to consider what credits would transfer to your new school. Now you’re stressed because that D in Anthropology isn’t gonna make the cut, and you’ve got to make up the credit somehow. Everyone around you appears to have their lives together, while yours is a mess.
2. Low key…you miss your old school
No, you don’t regret transferring to your new school. People like routines. At your old school, you knew all the routines. You knew where everything was and exactly when the shuttle was coming. Yourself knew the latest time you could get up to get to the Bio building on time and where the best party was going to be on Friday night. You miss the weather. You miss your friends, even if you only had a few. Having to start all over, to learn a new routine with new people…it’s hard. What’s worse is that while you’re learning the new routine, you keep comparing it to the one you used to know at your old school
3. Help is nowhere to be found.
Administrators at colleges are often too quick to send transfer students off into their communities without ensuring that they are prepared to do so. Transfer students aren’t babies that need their hands held, but they should not be treated as if they know everything they should know to navigate their way around campus. The transfer orientation wasn’t enough because all you did was register for classes. Who is my academic advisor? Where can I go if I need someone to confide in? You know that the help is there…it’s just that no one told you where to look.
4. It’s kind of hard to make friends
Even if you were the cool kid in high school, no one cares. Making friends on your own in college is hard enough, so being a transfer student makes it even more difficult. Everyone knows each other, and no one knows you. When you do make a friend or two, they’ll talk about people you don’t know in front of you, and you’ll be forced to stay quiet because you don’t have anything to offer to the conversation. Your friends will introduce to their friends, although they won’t remember your name unless you come around often. This isn’t anyone’s fault. It is only a dilemma that every transfer student must overcome…a very annoying dilemma
5. Time isn’t your friend
Having to adjust to everything that comes with going to a new school is an extremely slow process. It is going to take time for you to know where everything is and how late you can wake up to get to the Bio building on time.
This does take time for you to know what resources are available to you and where you can access them. It may feel like forever until you have a solid friend group but things will eventually fall into place. Don’t rush the process.
Being a transfer student is no easy journey to endure. Be there as support for the new faces you may see on your campus, and reach out for support if you are a transfer student