I preach about how much I love Ohio University. Which I do, of course. However, I didn’t always have this bobcat pride that I do now. My first semester at OU was downright miserable and there were tons of times I reconsidered my decision to attend this school. Looking back on it, I don’t know how I ever felt this. On the other hand, I made a lot of mistakes my first semester that, had I known my parents would kill me if I wanted to transfer again, made me want to transfer schools for the second time. With the price of college these days, paired with students’ inabilities to choose their university [or major] for the ‘right’ reason, transferring has become quite the hot commodity. Whether you transfer from a community college or another four-year university, transferring can put a ton of challenges on the student, myself included. I want every single transfer student to love their new home [or hOUme in my case] and to not once regret this decision. So, here are my tips and tricks to transferring universities [that I wish I had when I did it].
Make a list of must-haves
My senior year of high school, a huge must-have for me was a football game. My freshman year in San Diego, I went to one football game. When I was college hunting the second time around, my must-haves were more focused on things that actually matters – the major I wanted [or majors I might want], the access to vegan food [OU is in the top five most vegan friendly college campuses in the nation], a wide variety of student orgs [I cross-checked orgs from both schools I applied to because I was very interested in a few… yes CHAARG was one of them], and finally cost. In the end, I chose OU because it as half the cost of the other school and I’m so glad I did.
My freshman year I made roughly zero friends. I also only joined one club second semester. When I transferred, I joined orgs out the wazoo but didn’t really get involved until my second semester. Had I gotten involved my first semester and started making friends, I’m certain my first semester would have gone a lot different and never would have second-guessed this decision. Join clubs, go to meetings, go to events, talk to people!!!
Don’t feel pressured to rush
Rushing is a great way to get involved, don’t get me wrong. However, don’t feel pressured to do so. Just because half of your floor is set on joining a sorority doesn’t mean you have to as well! When I transferred, I thought the only way I would meet people would be to rush. I ended up dropping out on the last day because it wasn’t for me. Rush [and do everything else in your life] because you want to, not because everyone else wants you to.
You’re going to cry
I cried on my first day at OU. I cried weeks in, and I cried the second semester too. It will happen. Let it happen. Embrace it. Cry tears of happiness. Cry tears of sadness. Cry tears of everything in between.
You’ll want to go back to your old university
I missed San Diego when I moved into OU. I still miss San Diego now. It’s okay and it’s normal. You spent one or two years at this place, why wouldn’t you miss it?? I miss San Diego but I’m so lucky that I’m in Ohio now. I definitely want to go back to San Diego, visit my old campus that I know like the back of my hand. However, I’d much rather be in Ohio now and I’m so glad I am.
Get a job
My freshman year I didn’t get a job. I was ‘adjusting’ to college life. I SHOULD have gotten a job freshman year. I slacked off, spent way too much time watching Netflix, etc. When I got to OU, I got a job. With this job, came a newfound sense of responsibility. I had more responsibility and less time so I worked harder and more often and spent less time doing things I shouldn’t have been doing. I’ve also met some of my best friends through my job! Apply early and to multiple jobs so you’re sure to get one and that you can start right when school starts!
Put yourself out there
Going to college is hard. Transferring is even harder. You HAVE to put yourself out there [in whatever way that means to you] in order to succeed at this new school. Do something you never thought you’d do, talk to people outside of who you’d normally befriend, add a minor just because you have free space and you want to… anything! Grab your new school by the horns and make it yours. You’ll find your rhythm and love this new place in no time.