Transferring during a pandemic
Everyone knows that applying to college is no easy process. But applying a second time as a transfer student is in no way easier than the first time! I went through the transfer process while simultaneously living through a pandemic. Part of the reason why I decided to transfer after my freshman year was simply that I didn’t feel at home at my old university. No freshman will immediately feel comfortable in such a new environment, but I realized what I was experiencing was more than just your average out of place feeling. Everyone has different reasons for transferring: didn’t get into your dream school the first time around, thought you wanted to be far from home or close to home, or just didn’t meet your people. In my case, it was a mix of wanting better academics and not finding my people at my prior institution. There is so much pressure to find your group your first week in college but what I found was that everyone is simply trying to figure it out and some are just better actors than others.
Transferring colleges is a beyond difficult process and it is very easy to feel like an outsider at your new school. The minute I was fully committed to my new school, I started looking into orientation programs and even voluntary pre-orientation programs to get even more situated. I attended a pre-orientation program (over zoom) in the summer and it definitely eased some of my stress. I researched all the clubs my school had to offer and tried to join as many as possible. The most repetitive college advice you will ever hear is getting involved with your school but it’s true, being a part of a club or organization is an easy way to make a new environment feel more friendly.
Make a note of all academic advising and tutoring services. It is very easy to fall behind in college so actively seeking out all of the resources available to you will only be more beneficial. Talk to your professors and academic advisors for additional help and seek out peer tutoring services like INTA+ tutoring to help connect you with your peers. Don’t be scared to go to your professors office hours! Especially now that they are on zoom, it is so much easier to make that time in your schedule. Tell your professor you're a transfer student and it will help you stand out and you can make a more meaningful connection to your professor.
In the end
Transferring can be an extremely difficult process that feels very lonely and isolating. Finding other transfer students can definitely help make you feel less alone. Join facebook groups for transfer kids and get involved with transfer programs at your school. This process is very challenging and doing it during a pandemic is beyond courageous.