Tips for transfer students

By Katie Lee

Transfers. We think we like them until we do, don’t, or decide not to think about them anymore. Regret that decision? Sweep it under the rug and soldier on. Glad to have? Continue with the soldiering sans injury and plus a sense of liberation. Speaking of a supposed liberation, here’s more about me: I originally transferred from Emory University in Atlanta upon deciding that the positivity within the minds of my parents was not the same as mine in regard to my future as a neuroscientist. One semester previous, otherwise known as the haul that is high school, me, myself, I, others, and not my parents were convinced that I was destined to become a professional percussionist. I mean, this was a legitimate “thing,” really. And so, once again sure that I would become just this, I transferred to the University of Miami after one semester to do exactly that. Long story short, I ended up transferring once more and then coming back, consequently sending myself into a state of “Katie Stop Now.” No one wants to be in that state, trust me. To avoid dropping into the deep well that was my university transfers, let’s talk about everything I didn’t when I was about to transfer.

1. Not to discourage transferring, because there are many wonderful reasons to do so, but when you do transfer, make sure you kick it into high gear and meet people immediately. Many people will have met their college-long friends after living in slimy dorms together and deciding which sink gurgles up sewer water on Saturday mornings. These kinds of group decisions bring people closer. Sometimes this can leave you feeling a bit left out to dry. It’s tricky, trust me, but it can work, and it can work well. Involve yourself now, immediately, promptly, and in a flash (those are all synonyms for “do it now”).
2. Make sure you are familiar with the type of student who goes there and decide if this species of human is one with whom you may feel comfortable. After transferring in a desperate haste to leave the super-science atmosphere that was Emory, I failed to stop and think about the type of people who attend the University of Miami. Not to make absurd generalizations, as there are many different types of people within a university system, but let’s just say I was the black, nay, neon purple, sheep present amongst the herd. Mini skirts were in and my printed pants were a bit lonely for awhile. Each uni has its own feel and unique funk; do your research and do it well.
3. Ask about stuff. Specifically, ask about the programs in which you would like to partake. If communications is your thing, don’t transfer because sloppy tailgates seem appealing. Instead, see what resources that department has to offer. Nerd Film Club? Check. Horrible school newspaper run by an indecent dictator? Reconsider. Annoy people with questions and the both of you will be glad you did.

And so, we come to the end of my sermonizing. Ready for the world’s shortest synopsis? Think. When you’re in a huff to leave a seemingly unsuitable situation, think not only about getting out, but especially about your destination. College isn’t tricky, but everyone tries really hard to convince you it will be. Simplify and you will smack it out of the ballpark.

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