Transferring to a new college or university can be fresh and exciting, but it can also be daunting and lonely. As a transfer student myself many years ago, I can vouch that it can be an interesting experience. You’re certainly not a freshman (and you don’t want anyone to mistake you for one), but it’s true that you are new to campus. Many students meet people and initiate friendships quickly after arriving to college. This can present a difficulty to transfer students who show up late in the game.
But don’t fret, transfer students certainly aren’t hopeless. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks from past transfer students for making the social transition a little bit easier.
Joining a club or organization is a great first step. It instantly gets you in a room with at least a handful of other students who share no less than one common interest with you. Clubs and organizations almost always come with built-in social networks that are perfect for helping a transfer student socially adapt to their new environment.
Find A Cause
Volunteer! Similar to joining a club, volunteering at a particular organization that interests you will immediately surround you with people who care about the same things you do. And you’ll be helping your community at the same time!
Just say yes!
As much as you can, say yes whenever you’re invited to social functions. If someone invites you to the library to do homework but you’ve already finished yours, go anyway and get a jump start on studying for that exam you have next week. If you get invited to go to the dining hall but you’re not hungry, go along for the ride and grab a coffee. These experiences will help you bond with others and can lead to you meeting even more people.
Find a Job on Campus
Campus jobs are the best when you’re in college. Typically, your hours are flexible and almost all campus employers will work around your academic schedule and needs. On top of that, it’s a great opportunity to spend even more time in your college environment as a transfer student, and you’re likely to interact with and meet plenty of fellow students.
Live on Campus
Living on campus isn’t for everyone and there sometimes may be better options for your particular scenario. But if you’re torn between living in a dorm and finding off-campus housing, go for the dorm, especially for your first year on a new campus! Living in a dorm will immerse you in the campus culture and you’ll literally be spending every day and night with potential friends.