Combat First Year Speed Bumps


Transferring is complicated. Even before you step foot onto your new campus, you are filling out applications, writing essays, and speaking to your mentors and advisors. When you get to campus, the transition period can be difficult to manage. Below, I’ve listed some scenarios that may have happened during your first year, and offer tips on how to bounce back from these difficulties:

The school curriculum moves a lot faster, and you are struggling. Perhaps you went to a small community college or institution where class sizes were small and teachers knew your name and background personally.  TWProfessor

Solution: Don’t give up, and remember that you just dealt with a huge transition! In classes with huge lectures, especially for major prerequisite classes and GE’s, go to office hours if you are struggling, or even if you just want to make a connection with your professor. If you had a bad year or semester, don’t be afraid to talk to your advisor and professors on how best to tackle your schedule and ensure you graduate on time.

You went from a small school to a large school, and are struggling to find your place. Maybe you were president of your club at your previous institution, yet you are still trying to find a club that fits you at your new school.

TWClubSolution: Take advantage of club fairs that occur at most schools at the beginning of the year! Many students go to these fairs, even those that aren’t new students. Be sure to get flyers or speak to members of clubs you are interested in. Then, actually make an effort to go to the ones that you like. This is one of the best ways to get involved on campus.

You really don’t like your school, even after one year, and you are afraid you made the wrong choice. Maybe you really miss your friends from your old institution, or you are frustrated that your credits didn’t transfer.

TWBumpSolution: Take a step back and remind yourself why you chose to transfer in the first place. Why did you transfer to this school? Was it because of a major you were interested in? A program? Make sure you are still working towards your goals and interests, and re-orient your schedule if necessary. Here are some more tips on how to make your school your dream school.

It’s also completely normal to feel homesick still, or miss your friends. Why not give your old campus and friends a visit if you have a free weekend? Or have them come visit you? It’ll be a good opportunity to continue making new memories.

Do you have any other tips for transfers out there struggling to make the most of their new schools? As always, if you have questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below!

– Michelle L.