A transfer student undergoes much more stress than the average student just beginning college. From having to do one more awkward icebreaker orientation and having to learn a whole new campus is really stressful! I transferred from St. Joe’s University to West Chester University and (besides picking my major) was the biggest decision I have ever made. Deciding to transfer shows much bravery and strength to better your college career. Here are some helpful tips that “Dub C” me would tell “Philly” me. Here are my tips for one transfer student to another!
1. Don’t compare your old school compared to your new school.
Something I always found myself doing was comparing what I knew at St. Joe’s with what I didn’t know at West Chester. Each school has its ups and downs, but don’t let the ups of the old school put a damper on your downs at your new school. Find the aspects of your school that you think are unique and focus on them! For example, I love how diverse West Chester’s student body and how accepting everyone is of each other. That is something that took time for me to recognize, but now as a senior, I barely think about St. Joe’s because I love being a transfer student because I value more what West Chester has offered me.
St. Joseph’s University West Chester University
2. Don’t automatically think you made a mistake being a transfer student if its rough at first.
It is normal to feel like you don’t belong, but just remember it is temporary. I remember regretting transferring because I felt like such an outcast. I am a true believer in everything happens for a reason. It always gets easier becoming more acclimated as time progresses. I started to get into a routine that I did religiously before venturing out to new ideas. Go at your own pace and start each day with a positive attitude and goal. Then you become a senior like me and not ready to leave this amazing place!
3. People are more friendly and helpful than you think. Ask questions!
Disclaimer: EVERYONE HAS BEEN THE NEW PERSON AT SOME POINT!
Ask anyone walking or stopped for some directions, many times the directions lead to some advice. You should have seen my first time riding the campus bus to south campus. I asked a friendly looking girl if this how you get to south campus? She answered with “yeah just get on the bus that says express in the window! Are you a freshman?” No. I was not a freshman, I was a junior, it was so awkward! But she ended up giving me so much advice on where the best places were to study, best food truck, and some other West Chester tricks! If I never asked, I would have never known. Once you feel at home, help out the upcoming transfer student when you notice confusion.
4. Get involved and meet lifelong friends.
West Chester has so many opportunities to get involved with 280 organizations to pick from! I went to the activity fair at St. Joe’s and came across a club Relay for Life, a continual fundraising even for those who are battling, beat, or be defeated by cancer. I had a personal connection to this because I had a parent die from cancer, so it was special for me to be surrounded by people who wanted to raise awareness. When I got to West Chester, I heard about Love Your Melon which fundraises for pediatric cancer. I thought to myself, it couldn’t be as awesome as Relay, but I’d give it a try. Turns out I have met some of my best friends in this club and would never meet them if I didn’t join. So, find something that means something to you and I guarantee you’ll find purpose out of it.
5. Explore your campus before the first week of class.
West Chester sounds scary having both a South and North Campus, but as we all know, once you see it, it’s relatively small! It can be intimidating to not know what to expect on a daily basis, so get yourself familiarized! If you know anyone who currently attends, ask them for a run through of your classes before school. I had my one best friend who already went here for a year and a half to walk me through what my daily route would be, and it gave me much closer! There are also many services on campus that helps new students get more familiar with the campus and what has to offer!
The sixth and final tip is to have a great rest of your college career!
You only do college once, so live it up. Never leave in regret or fear, because you are strong enough to be adventurous and try new things! Before we have to be real adults, here’s to the last four years of being big kids!
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