College is an incredible experience filled with learning, exploring, and discovering. But what happens when your school isn’t the right one for you? You transfer to another university.
While transferring to a new university after your first semester may seem stressful and intimidating, it provides a great opportunity to start fresh and build a better college experience. Transferring is your second chance to build a life that you want. Quit feeling nervous, and start getting excited! Here are some tips for how to handle the transfer process gracefully.
If you didn’t like your first school, you’re going to want a positive experience in the second one. To ensure your experience is better this time around, you’ll need to find out as much about your next school as possible. Check out their website, booklets, and catalogs to learn about what your school has to offer and how to take advantage of it all. Look at maps to get a sense of campus layout. Check out the school’s clubs and student organizations on social media. What are the school’s strongest and weakest programs?
Whether living campus or commuting at your new school, you’ll want to optimize your living situation in every way possible. If you’re living on campus, reach out to your roommate ahead of time. If you’re going to be commuting, figure out your transportation plan as soon as possible. Also, check out the popular areas to hang out and wait in between classes on campus. See this as an exciting new opportunity and understand that – whether you commute or live on campus – you’re going to have a blast.
An important part of college success is open-mindedness. Your new college experience is a chance to try new things and learn more about yourself. If you have the opportunity to take a class that interests you, give it a try. If some people who sit with you in class invite you to get pizza afterward, embrace the opportunity to meet new people. Remember that your schoolwork always comes first, but don’t miss out on opportunities to enjoy your experience.
While it’s completely understandable that your past school wasn’t the right choice for you, try to avoid repeating any mistakes that may have contributed to your negative experience. For example, if you spent too much time partying at your last school and your grades suffered, make a plan to improve your study habits and prioritize more this time. If you struggled to make friends at your last school, try joining a club, sport, Greek life, or other student organizations. All in all, learn from your mistakes at the first school and try to be better moving forward.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the chaos of a first-semester transfer. Don’t force yourself to change your feelings and aspirations just because of new opportunities or new friends. Stay tethered to who you are. As long as you stay true to your morals, values, and goals and everything else will fall into place at your new school.
Don’t be nervous about transferring schools. Follow the steps above, and appreciate this moment for what it is: an opportunity to start over and find true enduring happiness.
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