Now that I’ve graduated from college, I’ve been feeling all kinds of nostalgic about school. Quirky teachers, tailgates, and a plethora of interesting classes … but I digress.
There were definitely things I wish a brick of enlightenment would have hit me with, i.e keeping a quick “get-out” outfit by the door for when that 3 am fire alarm goes off would’ve been a great start (I’m looking at you burnt popcorn dude).
As a transfer student, I realize that there were hardly any articles — save for school-run blogs — that touched on the transfer experience.
But seriously, think about it! You’re grown enough to have survived the freshman label, but you’re in the exact same boat as them because you’re brand spanking new to school. I mean, you have no idea where anything is (especially if your campus is humongous) and no idea who anyone is (even with investigative skills), so navigating your university is going to take a few more days than you probably allotted for.
1. GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
If only I would have known this going in! College is a whole new experience full of “uncomfortable” events. Safe to say being a transfer and an out-of-state student was at the top of the uncomfortable list, check out my Life as an Out-of-State Student for more details!
But take your living situation, for example. You could say it’s a bit of a shock going from the comforts of home to sharing every single room with a complete stranger (boy do I have some stories for you! Comment down below if you want me to start a roommates series!)
But, it’s okay — being nervous or apprehensive – it’s a good thing! Life will make you feel uncomfortable and when you do feel that way, you’re exploring & growing!
2. REALIZE EVERYONE ISN’T GOING TO BE YOUR FRIEND
Now, this may be a hard pill to swallow, but not everyone you meet will be your best friend or an “acquaintance” friend for that matter.
Take your roommate for example. I’ll be the first to admit that movies and tv shows can make it seem like you’re supposed to find your “soul sister” in the twin bed right next to yours. Yet, expecting them to become a life-long friend right off the bat, can lead to some serious disappointment as well as uncomfortable situations.
My advice? Don’t worry about making life-long friends right away. If you keep staying true to yourself the right people will eventually find their way to you. Another tip: Ease into friendships and try and match the energy, until you can see if you share the same expectations.
3. JOIN CLUBS
Joining clubs is one of the best ways to try something new and socialize with folks who share your interests & hobbies. Just about every school has a club fair where you can sign up for things you knew you wanted, and tons more you didn’t know you wanted!
Bonus, it’s a great alternative to partying and a guaranteed weekend filler, which I talk more about in my Weekend Plans for the Non-Frequent Partygoer post.
My advice is if you’re interested, go to the meeting. If it’s not your cup of coffee (I don’t really do tea unless I’m sick) then you don’t have to go back. When I was at UNC-Chapel Hill, I went to about 15 different interest meetings but choose 3 that I was truly passionate about.
In the long run, giving it a try is better than looking back and asking yourself “what if” later on.
4. TREAT YO’SELF!
It’s never too early to start working on self-care! College can be stressful and it’s soooo easy to get lost in your classes and forget about self-care. On those days when you have a long break, a day off, or on the weekend, make a plan to allow for some good ole’ me time!
Whether it’s retail therapy (try a game of getting the most bang for your buck), hanging out with friends (invite someone you’ve been meaning to catch up ), lounging at home (perfect time for those just washed jammies), or cleaning (my personal fav), whatever it is that fills your happy cup is important.
5. STUDY AT NEW LOCATIONS
Finals week is arguably the worst week in college. right behind burnt popcorn guy and the 3 am fire alarm. During it, you won’t want to be anywhere near the library (trust me it’s suddenly every student’s favorite study spot!)
So, if you really wanna find a quiet space to study, try going to a smaller lounge in another discipline’s study hall, an empty classroom, local bookstore, or small artisan coffee shop.
These spots are usually quieter with fewer students which means more time to crank out the work you have to do!
Pro-tip, try and keep your notes and schedule organized especially during this time to reduce stress. If you haven’t had the chance, try following some of the tips I mentioned in my How to Stay Organized During the School Year post!
Thanks! I really wish this article existed 10 years ago when I went to uni for the first time, as these really were things I struggled with very much as a fresher! Although I’m actually going back to uni in a couple of weeks, so they might come in handy after all!
Congrats on going back to uni!
I wish I had these too! I was so lost when I first started and then again when I transferred.