1. Take a class over winter breakWhen you transfer colleges, there is always the grim possibility of losing some credits along the way. Your new college might not accept a class because you earned below a certain grade, or because it does not offer an equivalent course. Regardless of the reason, you might be disappointed to learn that your decision to transfer has set you back in your degree track. If you find yourself needing to play “catch up” to graduate by a certain date, consider taking a class at your new school even before spring semester starts. Many colleges offer classes after the holidays that only last a few weeks. Be advised that, to compensate for the short term, winter classes may meet every day and for long periods. First, talk to someone in the Registrar’s Office to ensure that a winter class is conducive to your degree requirements. And, if your family is traveling over winter break, make sure your plans would not present a scheduling conflict.
2. Enroll in a transfer seminarTo alleviate some of the stress transfer students may experience, some colleges now offer transfer seminars. Transfer seminars can be simple classes, which may count for one or two credits, that let incoming students know all about what a college has to offer. A transfer seminar may discuss topics such as majors and minors, study abroad, extracurricular clubs and sports, graduation requirements, campus events, and more — all of which can be valuable information to the overwhelmed transfer student. Most likely, you will be required to attend some sort of transfer orientation before spring semester begins. While transfer orientation will teach you the basics of your new school, it might leave you feeling like there is still more to know. If you still are not comfortable after orientation, consider enrolling in a transfer seminar. You might even snag a credit for it!
3. Run through your schedule before the big daySo, you are transferring spring semester. To you, this might mean that you have less time to adjust to your new school than a student who transfers fall semester. If you want to make your first day of class go as smoothly as possible, run through your schedule beforehand. Doing so can prevent you from being late your first day and reduce overall anxiety. Looking at your class schedule and campus map can help you gauge where your classes are located, but the only way to get a true feel for distance and travel time is by actually going to each one. Doing a “run-through” of your schedule will get you familiar with your campus’ layout and landmarks that will make your next visit easier. Two buildings might look nearby on a campus map, but only a real visit would give you an accurate idea of how much travel time you need between classes. The thought of transferring mid-academic year can seem daunting. However, you should know you are not the only one facing this situation. To ensure a better transfer process, you can take a winter-term class, try a transfer seminar, and check out your classrooms. Doing even one of these things could make a big difference for you. Good luck!
Tiffany Sorensen is a professional tutor and contributing writer with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.