The Transfer Student Transition

transfer-header

by Cara

Sometimes, I feel like I’m a freshman again.

I pronounce the names of campus buildings wrong. I panic when random people ask me for directions to the library. I almost walked into the wrong classroom during the second week of class.

Last month, I started my sophomore year of college and my first semester at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

As you may remember, I attended the University of St. Thomas during my freshman year and decided to transfer because it wasn’t the right fit for me. I hoped to have more academic and social opportunities at the U of M, and so far I am pleased with my experience!

I didn’t have transfer orientation until the end of June. Compared to my freshman year orientation, this year’s orientation was shorter and more focused on class selection. I researched and printed out two schedule options before my orientation, so when I finally met with my academic advisor it was easy to explain what classes I wanted to take.

Since I’m done with the majority the U of M’s general education requirements, every class I’m taking this semester was selected because I wanted to take it. I’m taking the first journalism course required for admission to the major, two political science courses, microeconomics, and a 1-credit, online public health course.

I was able to set up my schedule so that I’m done with class everyday by the early afternoon, and I don’t have any classes on Fridays! Back when I was researching colleges, I always checked if the school offered the majors I was interested in, but I didn’t look in depth at their class offerings.

If you are a student looking at colleges, think about more than just your major!

Does the school offer alternative class arrangements such as online classes or classes held only once a week? I love being able to take two of my classes online. It allows me to work at my own pace and re-watch the course lectures, if I don’t understand the content the first time. Are all students required to take the same general education courses such as Biology 101, or do you get to choose which science course you take? I enjoy having many course options to fulfill the U of M’s requirements.

Freshmen at the U of M have a whole week of activities to welcome them to campus, but transfer students have a smaller offering of events. I went to a few of the events such as one at the student union where there were different free foods to eat and activities to do on each floor.

The main way I’ve made new friends is by meeting friends of my friends! I attended business camp at the U of M’s Carlson School of Management the summer before my senior year of high school, so I already knew students on campus. Since they have already been at the U of M for year, they are able to show me around campus and tell me about the different student groups. I love to go to events held by the many cultural student clubs on campus. We learn something new about another culture and get free food! My favorite event I’ve attend so far is Wam-O-Ram! It was held in the U of M’s Weisman Art Museum. There were free screen printed t-shirts, free pizza, a mini concert, and of course viewing of the numerous art pieces.

As a transfer student it can take a little extra work to make new friends and get involved on campus, but I am pleased with my decision to transfer. I can’t wait to see what other experiences I’ll have during my first semester at the U of M, and I am excited to share them with all of you!

College is WOW!

UMD freshman students

This is our Class of 2018!

by Ariana

I don’t even know where to begin. It all started with Welcome Week at my school, which is the University of Minnesota – Duluth. I checked in, met my roommate and said goodbye to my family. A LOT was headed my way!

Welcome Week consisted of many events. We were all assigned a room to go to, and then we met our Rockstar, an upperclassman who led a group of about ten of us freshmen. The purpose of the group is to help make new friends right away on campus with our fellow classmates.

I have never experienced such a friendly environment. It really was shocking because I was not expecting to interact with so many people in such a short amount of time. At South High School it was very clique-oriented. People were just so used to staying in their own little bubble of friends and judging you by which category you fit into.

But when you get to college they really push you to get out and meet new people, to get out of that comfort zone that we are all in, which is a lot to take in. But after a while I got used to meeting new people and reaching out to them as well. I remember people spontaneously introducing themselves to me. Even during the pep rally the people I sat next started talking to me.

Dorm life is also really fun! When you leave the door open your floor-mates walk into your room and you chit chat and get to know your neighbors. Even eating in our dining center you can just sit down with new people and maybe make some new friends.

I also found that participating in events and joining clubs helps you meet new people, and the events are really fun and entertaining. This past weekend our “RA” — which is the Resident Adviser for my dorm floor — had us all go play volleyball on Friday night together. It was a lot of fun and I met lots of other new people on the floor that I hadn’t even seen before.

Anyways, the college culture is definitely something you should look forward to experiencing. That is all for now. Thanks for reading!