By Aasha Amber Bhatnagar

Transferring colleges is a huge deal. The university you chose right out of high school may have seemed like your dream school, or maybe you settled somewhere just because you wanted to attend a four-year university. 

For me, I didn’t get into my “dream school,” so I chose to settle for another college. 

Although most students don’t go into their first year with the mindset of transferring, I did. I knew I wanted a competitive education and a degree worth showing off. Don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed my previous college, but my heart wasn’t where it belonged. Leaving a place you called home and your friends behind can be nerve wracking, but sometimes, taking a leap of faith can be the best decision you make. 

Since there are so many of us, Boston University offers a lot of resources for transfer students, and those open arms made my decision to transfer here all the easier. I was lucky enough that all of my credits transferred in and had no problems making the transition, but for some students, I know that’s not the case.

While I did as much research as I possibly could, I know that some transfers feel they wish they knew more before making the decision to come to BU. Here are some things that I wish I knew before transferring:

You’re going to feel like a freshman all over again.

Sometimes I’ll joke around and call myself an “honorary freshman” because that’s how it feels to be a transfer student. On my first day of classes in the fall semester, I had no idea where I was going; I triple-checked my schedule and walked to my classes the day before, ensuring I wouldn’t be late on the first day. Like a freshman, I didn’t know the quirks of the city yet, like where to get the best coffee (Pavement) and the (unreliable) MBTA system. 

Credit evaluations can, and will, take eons.

While every credit transferred over from my previous college, it didn’t happen in the blink of an eye. In fact, it took months for the credit evaluation office to process them. Make sure you gather your college syllabi weeks before submitting credit evaluations; not only is this mandatory, but it makes everything so much easier. 

Your GPA from your old school doesn’t transfer over.

That grade point average will be completely wiped out after enrolling at BU. I was shocked to find out that all of the hard work I put in at my old college was going to get completely reset by transferring, which means multiple sleepless nights, cram sessions and lots of espresso shots felt like a waste. But don’t fret: transferring means starting over. A clean slate can be seen as a blessing, especially if you weren’t the biggest fan of your GPA at your old school.

It’s not too late to get involved.

Entering a new college can be daunting when it comes to joining student groups. Before I transferred, I knew I wanted to pursue journalistic activities, but I didn’t know where I stood considering I hadn’t established myself yet. The same went for Greek life. Luckily, the number of other transfer students makes it easy to get involved, and I also found that a lot of people don’t even start doing activities until after freshman year.