Advice for transfer students

My name is Allison Surgeary, or “Allee” for short. I am a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz in New York but I transferred from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am a Journalism major with a double minor in History and Woman’s Studies.


I empathize with the struggles of being a college student, since I am one, and this is an ode to the Transfer Student.


We are a unique breed of college students whose struggle seems to go unvoiced and unappreciated. The transfer student is a contradiction. They are equipped with college experiences, with knowledge of their old school(s) and customs and yet when they arrive on their new campus they are rediscovering the unknown. The hardships about freshmen year are forced to be relived. Life is spiraled back to knowing no one, the initial lonesomeness that is paired with starting over returns, campus is an unmapped terrain filled with navigators who have already conquered the land and it does not seem to be getting easier. Being a transfer is difficult however, it is also that rare second chance that some people never have.


These are some steps to making your transfer year more manageable and fluid.


BE OPTIMISTIC: This transfer is an opportunity to start over. You made the decision to leave your initial school and the college labyrinth has permitted you to relocate and recreate a new life. It may be difficult at first but you already have an idea about how college generally operates. Remember to use your experiences from the past as an advantage and never regret your decision, a positive mind is vital.


BE SOCIABLE: New school means new friends. You may miss your old friends but do not cower out of fear or intimidation. Meeting people can initially be frightening but open yourself up, be excited about the limitless medley of people that will be influencing your life. This is a chance to star over and for people to find out who you are and what makes you different. Sometimes it may seem that everyone already knows each other but throw yourself into the jungle and let the nature of young adulthood and friendliness consume you. Friendships that may last a lifetime eagerly await for your presence.


BE INVOLVED: Every school has pamphlets of papers stating what great event or club they have to offer. Take these opportunities that are best fit for you. Use these clubs to your advantage to meet people, to be part of the student body, to be an active voice on your campus, to have a different experience and for future reference. There is no greater way to get assimilated to your school’s traditions and tendencies than to be a part of them. Dive in head first and enjoy!


BE STUDIOUS: The purpose of college, despite whatever pre-notions exist about it, is to learn. College is an academic institution where young people are meant to be enlightened and exposed to various scholarly subjects. Work hard, and make that transition worth the effort. Utilize your past experiences whether from life or other classes so you can better adapt to the academic environment of your new school. Remember to never be afraid and to try new things.

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