5 Tips for Adjusting to College as a Transfer Student

Transferring to a new college can be a nice change of pace, but it can also be stressful. As a transfer student, you’ve got a little more experience under your belt. Even so, you’re not starting off the academic year immersed in friend-making activities like those found at freshmen orientation, which can make starting over at a new college a lonely experience.

Don’t fret. Here are a few simple ways to readjust to college life as a transfer student.

1. Attend Orientation

You might be tempted to skip orientation due to a been there done that attitude, but you’d be missing out. Most campuses hold transfer orientations separate from freshmen orientation, allowing you to meet other transfer students who are just as eager to make lifelong friends as you are.

Attending orientation also helps you navigate campus and learn where all the important buildings are. Having some familiarity with the school layout can help you feel more comfortable, ensuring your transition goes as smoothly as possible.

2. Find Your People

Making friends is an important part of college life, but it can be difficult for transfer students to make connections. Most college students establish friend groups in freshmen housing, which can make socializing as a transfer seem overwhelming.

Consider your interests, and research clubs and organizations on campus. This could mean joining an athletic club, rushing a sorority or fraternity, or getting involved in a class study group. Work study jobs are also great for making friends. The more you can put yourself out there and meet people, the more you’ll feel like you fit in.

3. Get to Class Early

Make it a point to arrive in class five to 10 minutes early. Even if you’re standing out in the hall waiting for the previous class to let out, you’ll have more opportunities to get to know your classmates. Don’t be afraid to exchange email addresses and phone numbers with those interested in forming a study group. Your classmates may be waiting for someone else to take the initiative.

4. Meet With Your Advisor

Getting to know your advisor is essential whether you’re a transfer or not. As an incoming student, however, you’ll need to understand your degree plan, including any prerequisites and general education classes that might differ from your old college’s requirements.

Your advisor isn’t just someone who helps you figure out which classes to take. Your advisor can be your go-to person on how to improve your campus experience, so ask their advice on clubs, organizations, and local joints that will make your remaining time at college more pleasant.

5. Be Confident

The saying fake it ‘til you make it can certainly apply in college. Even if you’re feeling insecure, walking across campus with your head held high makes it easier to make friends. Smile and say hello when you pass strangers. Strike up a conversation with the classmates sitting next to you. Faking confidence eventually builds real confidence, helping you be more successful during your remaining college years.

Transferring to a new college isn’t easy. Meeting the right people, making connections, and being open to new experiences will help ensure the process goes a lot smoother than you thought possible.

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