Transitioning as a transfer student
As a transfer student, I understand the struggle of transferring from a community college to a large University. It can be intimidating and even scary going from a smaller campus with small class sizes to a campus the size of a small town and four hundred students in a lecture hall. It can even seem impossible, but remember you are not alone, and you are not the first and won’t be the last transfer student. The university is prepared to welcome you and has plenty of resources for students who are new to the school but not new to college.
Take a tour
A good first step is to take a campus tour. The great part of the campus tour, especially as a transfer, is that it only lasts one to two hours and it highlights the important parts of campus relevant to you. The tour guide will take you to necessary places like Students Services, the bookstore, the library, and different places you can grab food or coffee while you are on campus. Once you are familiar with those places, you know exactly where the resources for students are and don’t need to be afraid you will get lost on campus. You can just go to Student Services, which you now know the location of, and ask for a map. You can also register for classes and ask about financial aid while you are there.
Check out available resources
There are also many resources for transfer students specifically. There are Transfer Orientations that take up less time and are streamlined for the information that you need to know. It should not take too much of your time, and it won’t overwhelm you with excess information, since they know you are already prepared for college. Transfer mentors, past transfer students, who guide you through the process, usually lead these Transfer Orientations. They should contact you throughout the semester and be your on-campus, go-to person for questions and guidance. If there are not specific transfer mentors at your school, look within the department or school of your major (ex: College of Arts and Sciences) for peer mentors. These are students dedicated to helping other students in their transition to the university.
There are also clubs and an honor society for transfer students. Tau Sigma is designed to connect you with other new transfer students and help you. There are also usually transfer clubs and commuter clubs, where you can discuss transfer life and things like, faster routes to school, campus parking tips, extracurriculars to be a part of, and much more. There also may be Phi Theta Kappa alumni chapters so that you can connect with those that were part of Phi Theta Kappa while at community college.
The main thing that will help you survive your transfer is to familiarize yourself with the resources and important locations of the campus and get involved. If you are still having a tough transition, there are always tutoring centers, academic success centers, and counseling and wellness centers on campus to help you be successful. Remember you can do it, you made it this far, nothing can stop you from being successful, just utilize campus resources and believe in yourself.
Natasha is studying Biology as a Junior at the University of South Florida. She is a Pre-Veterinary student and plans to specialize in wildlife and zoological animals. Natasha has been involved in National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for two years. Outside of school, she is involved in Performing Arts and Theatre.