You may already be aware that I am currently a university student. But what you may not know about me is that I am actually a transfer student. After I graduated high school, I decided to go to a community college to gain some of my core credits for cheaper before going to university. Community college also allowed me to be a part time student so that I could get used to the flow of college classes. I was at my community college for 3 years before I transferred to my current university.
But the thing about transfer students is that “grade year” is often no longer based on how long you’re in college. Because based on that logic I should be a senior that graduates in May. But I am most definitely not. This is the second semester in my fourth year of college total. However my projected graduation date is actually May 2023. So I’m on that 7-year plan for my bachelor’s degree. 😛
Honestly though, my graduation year doesn’t bother me (anymore). What is a slight issue with transfers is that we don’t get as many “welcoming” events as the incoming freshmen. Freshman orientation for my university is two days long and full of activities where you meet other freshmen and get to know what the campus offers in terms of extracurriculars. The transfer orientation was one day and 90% of it was essentially a lecture on what the campus offers in general. It didn’t include any on-campus extracurriculars like clubs or other organizations.
Thankfully, I transferred in the Fall semester which is when my campus puts on welcoming events for the first several weeks of classes. I went to a couple and it gave me a chance to leave my apartment and meet people. But I got lucky because of when I transferred. If a student transfers in the spring semester, then they don’t get that campus-wide welcome until 8 months after they are at the campus. And I feel like that could really hinder someone’s transition into the new campus. The population of students here is almost half transfers, which is nice cause then we aren’t a part of this tiny demographic that no one pays attention to. My university does host events that are for transfer students and give them a chance to meet other transfers who may be dealing with similar struggles. But even with the efforts that my university makes, it sometimes feels like they prioritize the freshmen too much given the demographic. But I won’t really go into that because then I’d just start ranting.
Sometimes being a transfer is hard, even though I came to my university last fall. I’ve started to get slightly annoyed when someone asks me what year I’m in because I feel like I have to explain why my age, my credit year, and my graduation year don’t completely match up like they’re supposed to. But since my university has so many transfers, it doesn’t feel like I’m in a tiny demographic but rather one that makes up almost half of the population. I have met a couple of friends through small transfer student related events and that really did help me not feel alone.
If you’re planning to transfer to a new college or university, make sure you see what events they have planned when you arrive. Making friends is hard if you just sit in your dorm or apartment and only go to class. Some universities will host events that are geared towards friendship-making so it’s a great way to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise run into during class times.