Loyola University ChicagoLoyola University Chicago

Big Changes Transfer Students Face

Many adults have the same daily routine. By the time they are 18, most people have a schedule mapped out for their week or maybe even the month. Being a transfer student really shakes up your daily routine. You meet new people, new professors and have a completely new environment. The one thing all transfer students have in common is change. While the idea may seem very intimidating, change can be very beneficial! Let’s look at some of the issues transfer students face when attending a new institution and how they can overcome them.

Social Life as a Transfer Student
One specific worry students may have is their social life. Adjustment to a new atmosphere can be difficult. However, stepping outside of your boundaries can lead to some of the most positive outcomes in your life! Be sociable and get involved. With a new school comes new activities. Colleges offer numerous student organizations to become involved in, giving you a real opportunity to explore yourself as well as the university. These activities could range from intramural sports, to a chess club, to even a food club. You never know what your university might offer until you get out there and try new ideas.

Transferring to a different school is really a new beginning. You meet new friends, professionals, and you begin building your career. Along with a new group of friends often comes a few new hobbies and interests as well. At your previous college, they may not have had interesting activities or extra-curricular events that interested you. Then again maybe they did! With a new university comes a new option to explore. By going to these different events and meeting different people, you would be surprised at what is out there that could spark your interest.


Completing Your Degree
What if I don’t get my degree done in 4 years? That is completely fine! Not everyone finishes his or her studies in four years. Just because your college path changes, does not mean the outcome necessarily does as well. Take it from me. I was a transfer student who went to community college for several years before transferring to a university. It depends on your fit as a student. Some people are not ready for the university life right away, so a community college could be a good conversion stage to prepare yourself for life away at school. For me, community college really helped me transition into a university lifestyle. I personally believe that starting at a university would have been tough for me, so I felt more comfortable going to a community college first. I did not really decide what I wanted to do until my second year there as well, so it was a good way to get my feet wet and experiment with my different options. If that is not your situation, maybe the first institution was not the right fit. There is nothing wrong with that either! The experiences you have learned from there can be applied to the next university you attend, and better prepare you for success in the classrooms as well as the real world. Just make sure before transferring, you do the proper amount of research and maybe even visit a couple of schools to make sure your next stop is the right one. So if you do not receive a degree after four years, don’t give up. That is more common than you think!

Finding the Right Fit
One of the most beneficial concepts involving a new institution would be a change in teaching tactics for you to benefit your future. Staying at the same university will not benefit you if you feel you are not grasping the ideas. In the long run, an education is much more than just a piece of paper. A degree resembles the struggles you faced, the solutions you developed, the new relationships you made over that period, and most importantly the concepts you have learned. The education you receive from the school that suits YOU is priceless. Some institutions teach through theory and practice, others through technology, and some lead by example. Just because a school has a big name or a top-notch football program does not mean that it will work for your future. Find the best fit for you, to benefit your upcoming career. Do not stay in the same place because it comforts you or because it is easy. The best things in life come through challenges.

Change is a Good Thing
Putting all of that together leads to the most important point. While your environment, your friends, and the professionals around you may all change with a new school, do not forget that you change as well. Joining new groups, meeting new friends and surrounding yourself in a different world could change you. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as growing stems from change. Do not be afraid to embrace your new opportunities, and remember to learn from each new experience that you go through. Go ahead and do the research, meet new people and explore your options! After it is all said and done, your future self will thank you for taking that leap of faith. So the next time you are sitting at home going through your daily routine, challenge yourself to get out there and make changes that benefit you, and your future. 


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