Everyone has an opinion about what to expect when switching colleges, whether it’s for a graduate or undergraduate degree. Some say you should expect a more formalized learning and research environment, while others say that college life is just as hectic and challenging, if not more so than high school.
Whatever your particular expectations may be, reality can often be much different from what you had hoped for.
What should you expect?
Here are some things to keep in mind when navigating the waters of changing college.
Do your research
It’s important to do some research before you go; some colleges may have a reputation for being more academic-oriented than others. For example, at some universities, there is more emphasis on core science classes and rigorous research than in others. Other colleges are known for being more liberal or entertainment-oriented. You will also need to understand what the school is looking for from its students. For example, you can find Notre Dame college transfers requirements at CampusReel.
There will always be some stress
Realize that switching colleges can mean different stressors at every institution, but there’s also the opportunity to take charge of your own education and choose what works best for you in terms of coursework or extracurricular activities, etc.
Keep in contact with old friends
Keeping in touch with your old friends is just as important as making new ones. This can be harder if you’re in a completely different campus location, but it doesn’t mean you lose all contact. Many students still find ways to communicate and socialize, whether it be through email, text, or online chat.
Make new friends
Take advantage of the opportunities to meet new people, like at orientation or other social events on campus that you can look forward to attending at your new school.
What resources does your new school have?
Find out what resources are available and use them! Many libraries offer free tutoring for various subjects or even for help with specific courses within a field of study. As well as this, many university chaplains are available to cater to the spiritual needs of students, while Career or Student Resources Centres can help students find the job market in their chosen field of study.
Visit the campus
Be sure to visit the new campus in person before you make a decision. It’s never fun to make the leap from a familiar place to a new one, so doing your homework beforehand will help you quickly adjust.
Join social clubs on campus
Keep in mind that it’s expected that you will be involved in at least one or two social organizations or clubs on campus, whether it’s joining an academic club or some other type of extracurricular organization. The more involved you become, the stronger your social ties are with other students and thus the easier it will be when you meet new ones.
Don’t forget this can be a fun time
Finally, never forget that you’re a person. No matter what the situation, college life, like all other aspects of life, is about pursuing your own education and having fun at the same time. If you’re looking for new friends or to find out how to fit in at a new college – then look no further!
For any student who has changed colleges in the past or would like to change and is looking for advice on what to expect when changing colleges, this article should provide some good insight into how to make the transition into a new environment as smooth and effective as possible.