Thinking about transferring colleges? You’re not alone. Nearly 4 in 10 students are likely to transfer colleges or universities at some point during their academic career, and for many, the reasons vary as much as the students themselves. Perhaps, you’ve decided to change majors and feel that your current college no longer accommodates your goals. Maybe, you’d like to attend a more cost-efficient program, or you now have the chance to attend your dream school and simply can’t pass up the opportunity.
No matter the reasoning behind your transfer, what matters most is that you find a collegiate program that jives with your personal life and professional goals. That being said, there are certainly a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare to make the big move to another campus. At uCribs’ headquarters, we have compiled a list of 5 things to expect if you’re transferring schools after winter break. You can thank us later with a belated Christmas present—all we want is a happier you!
Your new environment and schedule will require an adjustment period.
As humans, we’re all creatures of habit – which is why you’re so comfortable with your current college schedule. Admit it: you’ve gotten used to seeing those familiar faces in your classes, and you might have even formed friendships with several of your current professors. Now that you’re transferring to a different university, though, you’ll have to forego this comfort for an entirely new environment and schedule – one that might take a few weeks, or even months, to get accustomed to.
Once you’re enrolled in your new college, you can expect your day-to-day agenda to ebb and flow a bit differently than it did at your former school. Depending on where you land, you might even face different grading scales, attendance procedures, and classroom policies. Hey, it’s not all bad – those wicked sharp study skills you picked up over the past semester or four can be put to good use in a brand-new setting, where you’re sure to impress your professors and peers with your dedication, passion, and tenacity.
You’ll realize that some previously acquired credits might not carry over.
College credits are tricky enough to navigate when you’re hoping to graduate on-time – let alone one semester early. So, you can safely assume that transferring your hard-earned course credits to another university might carry with it a fair amount of difficulty. Whether you’re concerned if your new college will accept your current credits or worried if they will require additional courses, one thing’s for sure: you can expect to have more than a few questions about the transfer process and the new expectations that come along with it.
As inconvenient as it may be, all universities handle course credits differently, and one college’s path to graduation might look completely different from one at another institution, even if you stick to the same major. The best thing to do in this situation? Speak with an admissions counselor at your new university, who can guide you through the credit transfer process. You might discover that you’ll have to re-take a few classes or redesign your path to graduation entirely, but don’t get discouraged! If you’re confident that transferring universities will place you one step closer to your ultimate goal of a worthwhile career path, then these efforts will be well worth it in the end.
You might encounter unexpected expenses in the process.
When it comes to the financial aspect of university life, college is hardly a walk in the park. Paying for school is only getting more expensive by the year, and even scholarship recipients sometimes resort to taking out student loans or paying out-of-pocket for necessities, like off-campus housing, meal plans, and extracurricular activities. Not to mention, the simple act of moving from one place to another can entail hefty expenses, from paying the deposit on your new apartment to purchasing packing supplies and renting a moving truck.
That’s why it’s so important that you prepare yourself for the costs associated with transferring universities – and research what you can do to offset these expenses. Start by looking into scholarship opportunities specifically for transfer students. Some institutions offer special grants for transferring students, and others may boast incentives such as waived application fees. You never know until you ask, so get in contact with a knowledgeable staff member of your new university and see what options are available to you.
You’ll need to completely rebuild your social network.
As you probably know by now, college is about way more than simply going to class and making the grades. The college experience also entails forming new friendships – some of which might even last your entire lifetime! That’s why it can be a little disheartening to realize that you’ll need to rebuild your social network once you get to your new university. It’s not like you can carry your current college friendships with you to your new university. Bummer.
No one likes to feel like the new kid in town – but, unfortunately, that’s exactly the scenario you’ll find yourself in, once you resume classes on your new campus in the spring. However, it’s likely that you won’t be the only transfer student new to campus, so don’t let that fact hold you back from pursuing meaningful relationships! Attend meetings for campus clubs and activities, take up a volunteer position, or simply strike up a conversation with a friendly-looking stranger. With a little bit of confidence and elbow grease, you’ll soon have yet another awesome group of college pals to kick it with for the foreseeable future.
You should understand that transferring might not fix every issue.
For many transfer students, a fresh start at a new university is exactly what they need to kickstart a fulfilling college experience, but some become so fixated on the idea that they develop unrealistic expectations of what their new campus will provide to them. This usually results in overwhelming disappointment when they realize that transferring isn’t a cure-all for college life’s ills. Take it from us: you don’t want to fall into this trap! So, wise up while you still can and understand that transferring colleges won’t magically erase all of the obstacles associated with college life.
Our advice? Take a long, hard look at the reasons behind your desire to switch schools. If your current university doesn’t offer as many academic opportunities as you believed were there, then you’ll likely be happier in a more robust program. On the other hand, if you’re having difficulty meeting basic college requirements – like attending classes and keeping up with assignments, then you might want to reconsider your decision to transfer altogether. While you can only trust your own judgement, it’s important to understand that you’ll probably face similar frustrations at your new school—that’s just the way college life is, and there’s no escaping it.
Attending college is a wonderful opportunity. Here at uCribs, we believe that everyone deserves a chance at an exciting college experience that is fulfilling in both an academic and personal sense. If you’re no longer happy at your current university, transferring to an institution that’s a better fit is a great way to press the reset button on your college life. However, that doesn’t mean that the change will be totally seamless. There will be adjustments to make, starting with the 5 listed here. But, don’t worry – you’ve totally got this! Now, say it with us: “new campus, who dis?”