Being a transfer student can be hard: new school, new friends, an entire new atmosphere. However, sometimes a fresh start is what someone needs to be able to find themselves and proceed on their road to becoming what they want to be. Here are 5 things I learned during my first week as a transfer student:

1. Do not be afraid to break out of your shell.

You are starting a brand new school; no one knows you, no one knows your past, hell no one even knows your name. Do not be afraid to be who you have always wanted to be. Last year I was confided in my personal bubble and was afraid to meet anybody. I went to my classes, came back to my dorm room, did my schoolwork and then headed off to bed; not socializing with anyone except for my roommate. I was out of my hometown and in an environment with people who were in the same situation as me, and I did not break out of my shell. Going to a new school means new opportunities; do not be afraid of who you want to be.

2. You have to try new things.

Even though you can make friends through your classes, you can also meet new people through joining a club. If you find a club that you enjoy, odds are that the other people in that club enjoy the same things that you do. If you cannot find a club that has some of your interests, see if there is one that goes along with your major. Meeting new people can be hard and sometimes scary, but do not forget that there are others going through the same thing.

3. Plan when you are going to get your meals.

At my old school, the dining center was open all day and was large enough to where everyone had a seat. At my new school, the dining center has certain hours and if you want to go to the Cage, you have to get there before the lunch rush. Look at your schedule, see when you have a break between classes, and make sure to get your food before you are waiting in line for what feels likes ages.

4. Get to campus early (if you are a commuter).

I thought that I would be okay getting to class at least 20-30 minutes before my first class, but boy was I wrong. My school is almost 50% commuter students; therefore, parking fills up fast. If you do not get to campus before 9 am, chances are you will not be getting a parking spot close to your first class. If you want a parking spot where you do not have to walk too far, make yourself get into a steady morning routine. Wake up earlier, fill yourself up with coffee, and leave at least an hour before your class starts (depending on where you are commuting from). Believe me, you will thank me later.

5. You will find your place.

Even though you are starting a brand new school, chances are you are not the only one in this situation. Remember your first day of kindergarten? You did not know anyone and you were in a brand new environment, but you eventually got the hang of what was expected of you and you made friends. Think of your new school as kindergarten all over again; you will make friends and you will succeed. It may take time, but it will all be worth it.