The Transfer Student Experience
There are many types of college experiences out there. You can go through one college in four years right out of high school, you can go back to college as an adult, you can get multiple degrees, and so on. But there’s one unique college experience that stands out: the transfer student’s college experience.
A lot of people tend to think that being a transfer student is terrible because you are hopping from college to college. While this is true to some degree, there are still many perks to being a transfer student. For example, transfer students get to try out different colleges, make new friends, and perhaps get out of their comfort zone. They get to experience different college environments.
On the down side of things, adjustment may be a little bit harder for the transfer student. Since most people make their friends within the first year of college, it may be difficult for the transfer students to make their way into friend groups at first. But only time will tell if a school is the right fit or not.
As a transfer student, I have experienced both the good and bad sides of being a transfer. I started out at a very large community college in New York for my freshman year. I wasn’t a huge fan of the large school because I felt like I was just a number. I didn’t feel like my school was home. After my freshman year I decided to transfer to a smaller school, and Lourdes University fit that criteria perfectly. Once I got here, the adjustment period was very hard for me. I spent most of my time worrying and upset because I was afraid that I wasn’t going to fit in or make any friends. I am also fairly far from home, so I had a little bit of homesickness. It took almost a month for me to adjust. I did run into the issue of making friends in my year because most of the sophomore students had all of their friends from freshman year.
Since I had trouble fitting in at first, I started participating in a lot of events. I became a part of campus ministry, I went to L.E.A.P events, and other campus activities. I had to break out of my comfort zone a lot. As time has gone by, my experience just keeps getting better. I love the fact that Lourdes is so much smaller than my old school. I love knowing a majority of the people on campus and feeling like I am a part of a community. I’ve also made many new friends that I am extremely thankful for. The time it takes to adjust as a transfer student is worth it in the end.
So here’s what I have to say to any fellow transfer students out there who are either having trouble adjusting, or are feeling a little off beat. This may sound cliché, but just be patient. Adapting to a new school doesn’t happen overnight. Attend as many events as possible, be sure to say hi and be friendly, and be open to any new experiences. And for those of you that aren’t transfer students, be on the lookout for those transfer students that may need a friend or someone to talk to. They’re in a whole new environment, try and understand how hard that would be for yourself, and be as welcoming as possible. Being a transfer student isn’t easy, but how you choose to go about it can make all the difference.