Advice From One Transfer Admissions Student to Another

Transferring from one college to another is disruptive: moving to a new city, leaving the family home for possibly the first time, establishing new friend networks in a new place. Being 19-20 years old and taking more specialized, upper division courses, typically, transfer students are seeking other older students, but often worry about breaking into already established friend networks. 

One fourth year student, Sureena, who transferred amidst the Fall 2021 COVID-impacted college, shares the following guidance (edited for clarity): 

…. go to the campus before [choosing a college] would be really good for them because….it gives you sense of understanding of your environment for the next two years or however long you’re going to be there. 

Students (and their families) can ask about transfer specific housing communities or upper division student communities, to meet people at the same stage of life, rather than an 18 year old, newly freed their parents’ protective custody.  

Also, if visiting campuses states-away, students can experience the complexities of travel and know the additional efforts just to “commute” to school. Plus, test the distance between home and college, should they need additional support from family. 

Sureena continues: 

And it’s very important to feel like you know this is somewhere that you see yourself in the future and just….being independent you know going out of your comfort zone in whatever sense that means like talking to people, going grocery shopping by yourself all these new things…

Meeting with professors and visiting upper division courses to sample the academic environment, as well as connect with students in the same academic major can help students understand their alignment with the particular campus. 

Additionally, driving around the neighborhoods and city surrounding the campus, students can imagine how they’d access markets, restaurants, or other services if needed, and possibly without a car. 

Then, Sureena offered tips after landing on campus: 

…. put yourself in a position where you can talk to other people and really try to make friends. I struggled with that [until]  joining my sorority I was able to, you know, build some friendships…

Clubs, like sororities and fraternities, are ready-made communities of others who share a student’s interest and established networks of mentors to gain guidance in navigating their new college, for even simple recommendations, like, “Where’s the best ice cream?” 

Transfer students, typically, more directed having selected an academic major often seek to maximize opportunities on campus in preparation for their professional life. Thus, by asking as many questions and thoroughly investigating each campus, potential transfer students can decrease the risk of malinvestment in their college education.

For over twenty years, Creative Marbles experts have moderated family conversations regarding complex educational decisions, lending our expertise to reduce the risk of malinvestment. For more information, contact us.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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