When I first applied to Lindenwood during my last semester at STLCC, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if I’d get accepted, but I was more scared of not being able to find my way around to my classes. The campus is a lot bigger than what I’m used to and I’ve adjusted to transferring schools fairly well. During this past year of making my way through the transferring process, I’ve learned a lot and it’s helped make this transition a lot easier for me.
1. It’s okay to be nervous about re-applying and awaiting your acceptance.
Every school requires that you fill out an application and send them your transcripts, even if you’re transferring in with an associate’s degree. Everyone remembers the waiting game that we all played in high school when we sent off our applications to our dream schools, but unfortunately, the process takes a little longer than it did in high school. When you’re applying as a transfer student, your university requires you to send in your current college transcripts as well as high school transcripts if you have under a certain amount of credits. This can cause it to take a little longer, and it’s okay to be nervous while waiting it out.
2. There’s going to be frustration involved when figuring out what credits transfer.
Because every school is different, not all of your credits are going to transfer and not all of them are going to transfer how you expected them to. Some universities don’t take classes that are below a certain level and some universities are private, so there’s a good chance that they won’t accept credits from a public university. Depending on how many of your credits transfer and what category they transfer into, this may set you back a bit. But once you meet with an advisor and figure out how they transferred, you’ll work it out and then you’ll be on your way.
3. You don’t have to live on campus.
One of the major things that I was concerned about was how I was going to afford living on campus. Because I had the A-Plus Missouri Scholarship, I was able to get my first two years done for free. This resulted in me not knowing how student loans worked, so that was something that I had to learn all over again. If you’re transferring in from another college or university, living on campus is not a requirement. If you live relatively close to where you are planning on transferring, then you may be better off being a commuter student. It may be more convenient depending on your schedule outside of school and you will save thousands of dollars.
4. You’ll eventually learn your way around.
If you’re transferring from a community college or a small university, it’ll be a little harder to learn your way around if your transfer school is substantially bigger than what you’re used to. Don’t be alarmed, though, you can combat this by signing up for a tour of the school or coming on a weekend to learn your way around. Don’t be afraid to ask people for directions; they aren’t scary and they won’t make fun of you for not knowing where the library is. It’ll take some time and adjustment, but you’ll eventually learn all the shortcuts to your classes and you’ll be able to navigate around with your eyes closed.
5. Making a schedule can be a little rough.
Adjusting to how many classes you take during the day is also something that took a lot of getting used to. When I came to Lindenwood, I was used to taking classes three days a week from 7 am to noon and going home right after. I had to adjust to not starting until 9 and not being done until 3:45 and having a two hour break in there somewhere. Having an all-day schedule can be a little exhausting, but it gets easier if you have a break in your day; you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat and knock some of your homework out.
6. You will make friends.
The first few weeks after I transferred seemed to drag on. I didn’t know anyone in my classes and, at the time, I only had one friend that went here, and we had opposite schedules so it was hard to see each other. If you’re feeling all alone and like you won’t make any friends, you will, it just takes time. If you sit next to someone in a class, talk to them before the class starts and pair up on a project together. You’ll eventually get over that “awkward” friend phase and you’ll start talking. You will make friends, just give it time and don’t stress about it.
7. It may feel like the first day of high school all over again.
Everyone remembers their first day of high school whether they want to admit it or not. We all looked like lost little puppies wandering around the building looking for our classes and wondering if we would make any friends. If you’re transferring colleges or universities, it’s more than likely going to feel like this again. Don’t fret, though, because within the next few weeks, you’ll have your room and building locations memorized and you won’t feel like a little puppy. You’ll also more than likely have some friends at this time, so it won’t be as bad as you thought it was going to be.
8. You won’t lose your friends from your old school.
Even in high school if you had to move schools, you feared that you’d lose your friends and never talk to them again, more often than not, that wasn’t the case. Your friends from your old school will still want to hang out with you on the weekends or whenever you both are free. If they’re really your friends, they’ll always be there for you to cheer you on and support you, no matter where you decide to go to school and no matter how much distance is put between you.
9. Take advantage of the resources offered at your new school.
At STLCC, I had a lot of helpful resources that helped me survive my first two years of college, but I felt that the resources that Lindenwood has to offer were much better. You can view this as a plus side to transferring schools. The school that you’re coming from may not have a wide range of equipment for you to use, or it may be outdated and won’t help you with assignments or projects. Usually, bigger universities have better, more up-to-date equipment to offer their students and you definitely should take advantage of it whenever you can.
10. Your new school will feel like home in no time.
It probably won’t seem like it at first, but you’ll eventually feel that your transfer school is like home to you. After awhile you’ll meet some of the most amazing people and you’ll be thankful that you met them, you’ll find a club or an organization to be apart of and you’ll feel as if you’re apart of something and you belong to a group; and that’s something that makes me feel special.Transferring to a new college or a new university can easily feel like high school all over again.You’re at a new place with no friends and you don’t know you’re way around. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and sometimes might even make you think twice about your decision to transfer. Let me tell you that transferring schools was the best choice that I’ve ever made; I found something that I want to major in and that I’m passionate about and I’m starting to write for our school newspaper. The saying that good things take time is true. Just give it some time, and I promise you that you will not regret making the choice to transfer.