By Leigh Brandt
Making friends and learning the layout of a new campus while managing clubs, activities and schoolwork can be hard. Not only did I have to navigate through this process last year as a freshman, but I chose to do it for a second time this year as a transfer student.
Tuesday officially marked one month that I’ve been here at BU for my sophomore year and I want to share some transfer insight I have gained for those who may need it.
At my previous college, I could feel that something wasn’t right the moment I stepped foot on campus for orientation. I wasn’t excited at all and felt overwhelmed and uneasy. Having gone to boarding school throughout high school, I knew I couldn’t blame this anxiety on the classic freshman homesickness; I was used to that. This was different.
I would like to pause here and make clear to anyone reading this that it is totally okay to question where you ended up; transferring exists for a reason. In fact, I remember when I first brought the idea up to my parents. I discovered that more than a third of college students transfer at some point in their academic careers. I’m sure you know more people than you think that transferred schools.
So the first piece of advice: trust your gut. I knew early on something was off, though I know other transfer students that tried really hard to make things work for them at their previous school, but things still didn’t feel right during second semester.
The next thing I can offer you is that there’s no “how to” guide for transferring colleges.
I truly mean it when I say that because everyone’s process with transferring is so different, there is no standard way to go about it. Some people enter their new school and go to every orientation event and activity there is, while others don’t participate at all. How you choose to spend your time at a new place is completely up to you.
The last piece of advice I would like to give is that there are days that are hard. There are days where I miss my old friends, the sense of familiarity I had developed at my previous college and the days when I didn’t feel like a freshman. It is very possible that you may transfer and on a bad day think that you made a mistake in leaving your old school.
You just have to take a deep breath and push through it, because on those good days (and there are plenty of those) you will remember the very long and very detailed list of reasons you chose to transfer.
Included in my list is the ability to order a pack of Insomnia Cookies to my dorm until 3 a.m.
But in all seriousness, follow your own path and do what’s best for you.