An Open Letter to the Transfer Student

An Open Letter to the Transfer Student

I know starting at a new school is really really hard, but it's going to be okay.
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Dear Transfer Student,

I know starting at a new school is really really hard.

I know, because I did it too.

But, based on my experience, here's some tips and things to remember to help ease the transition.

There is a reason you left your previous school. From time to time you will think of fond memories that happened when you feel lonely at the new school, but there is a reason you left. Remember that. Memories are good, but creating new ones are more important than reminiscing. You can't go back, so move forward.

For me, my loneliest moments here are nothing compared to those at my previous school. I left because it was too small, and overall, had too much drama. It's important to recognize that you were mature enough to say "I need help" and walk away. That shows strength, not weakness or running away no matter who says otherwise.

Try and be patient when dealing with the admissions office. At times, petitioning credit will get to be so annoying that you'll want to pull your hair out, but it's all going to work out. It just takes time.

Finding friends at the new school will not be easy. I wish I could say it is, but it's just not. It's important to remember that it's not the quantity of friends, it's the quality, so take the time and look hard.

And recognize that everyone, even people here from day one, feels lonely from time to time. Moping and saying "I have no friends" doesn't help you make new ones. Reach out to people in your class, join clubs, and realize that you aren't alone unless you make yourself alone. Be yourself, people will love you for you, not because you're trying to be like them.

And when you do feel alone, study. By diving into your schoolwork, you not only improve your intelligence, future career opportunities, and grades, but distract yourself from your woes.

Keep in touch with the close friends from your old school, you may be surprised how much they can be there for you in your times of need. Again, quality not quantity.

And write. Whether it's in a journal or on a blog, writing is an incredibly powerful tool. Writing when you feel excited, lonely, stressed, or sad can really help you understand the strengths inside yourself. Writing is a key component of overcoming your feelings, and reading old entries may help you keep in touch with your past to better your future.

Also, call your mom. She's a great listener in times of need.

Ultimately, remember that it is going to be okay. It might not be today or tomorrow, but it will be soon. You will find your place, but you have to keep going.

Some days will be harder than others, schoolwork will be different, and putting yourself out there may be difficult, but you can get through this big change and make this school your home.

I believe in you, so try and believe in yourself.


Cover Image Credit: http://lovegifs.net/post/17535945530

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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