Alex’s Declassified Transfer Survival Guide
Alex’s Declassified Transfer Survival Guide
Hi, my name is Alex and I am a junior transfer student here at UVM. I transferred this past fall and am studying business administration with a concentration in marketing and a theme in entrepreneurship. I’m here to give prospective transfers or current transfer students more insight into being a “newb” at UVM. Here is my homage to Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, and hopefully this helps with your transfer student endeavors.
The most important piece of advice I could suggest is getting involved. It is the easiest way to make friends and meet new people. I transferred as a junior and felt like a first-year. Not going to lie… it was a bit humbling. I would not be doing half the things I do now if I didn’t put myself out there.
I cannot stress enough that getting involved is so important. There are so many opportunities UVM has to offer, you just need to take advantage of them. As corny as it sounds, it may be scary putting yourself out there, but the best things can happen when you are out of your comfort zone. Since Activities Fest happens towards the beginning of every semester, you can meet and learn about so many different clubs offered on campus. It’s funny how much things can change in such a short amount of time. At Fall semester Activities Fest I was wandering around trying to figure out what clubs I was interested in, and in the spring, I was already in a leadership position, tabling for a club.
Go to orientation! Orientation may seem like a big waste of time, but I can’t recommend it enough. I thought I was going to be paired with a group of first-years which is why I was on the fence about going (I also barely went to the orientation events at my other school when I was a true first-year). Don’t worry transfers, you get put into your own orientation groups. I ended up meeting some of my best friends at orientation and can say that I would’ve had a more difficult time meeting people at the beginning of the semester if I didn’t go.
Know that things may not happen overnight and that’s okay. Making friends and getting adjusted takes time, and just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. Already having 2 years of college under my belt, I was a little naïve to think that I was magically going to fall into a routine right away. I was constantly changing and moving around things. Things don’t happen all at once. It look awhile to have a balanced happy medium of my social and academic life. Eventually, I did, but it took time. Make sure to give yourself the time you deserved to adjust.
Transferring is way more common than you think. I come from a beach town in New Jersey, and I went to a small university to play lacrosse my first 2 years of college. Being from such a small bubble, it was definitely scary and lonely not knowing anyone else going through the same process. But, once I got to campus, I met so many others experiencing the same transition. I didn’t realize how big of a transfer student community there was until I got to UVM.
Do your research. I found so many events that I was interested in from UVM BORED my first semester. There are so many ways to find out about different on and off-campus events, and BORED gave me (and hopefully you) the inside scoop (along with so many options that cater to everyone). Also, check out the other campus organizations’ socials because you’ll be sure to find something that interests you! In the end, no matter what you decide to do with your time, it will all work out. Just give yourself some slack because the weight is a lot heavier when you carry it by yourself.
This piece of advice is not just for transfers, but it definitely helped me when figuring out what kind of student I wanted to be, and how involved I wanted to be. Find one thing that interests you, one thing that is out of your comfort zone, and one thing that can help within your major. If you can find something in each of these realms, you’ll be more than involved. My goal was to join anything and everything last semester which helped me meet a lot of different people. But in reality, I definitely spread myself too thin, which led to a lot of stress. Take it easy, it’s not a race, find things you’re interested in that are fun and manageable.
In whatever stage of the transfer process, you are in, I hope you find the right fit for you! Remember that good things take time, and everything will eventually fall into place. I am still learning and figuring things out. In all honesty, I still don’t know where half the buildings are, but sometimes a little false confidence doesn’t hurt. Enjoy the ride, have fun, and don’t force things that are not meant to happen. I hope you find the right college fit for yourself whether that be UVM or somewhere else.
Here are some UVM Transfer Student Resources:
Res Life for Transfer Students