I transferred to Wesleyan as a sophomore in 2017, from Wake Forest University. I knew that transferring out of Wake would be the right decision for me, but I had no idea if Wesleyan would be the right fit. I knew that I wanted to come back to the Northeast (I’m originally from NYC!) and go to a smaller school, and while I was interested in Wesleyan, I didn’t know what kind of experience I would have there. Ultimately, I decided to accept my offer because of Wesleyan’s super-strong English and creative writing program. Transferring can be unsettling and a little bit intimidating, because, like most schools, you can’t really tell what it’ll be like until you get there!
Luckily, transferring to Wesleyan was definitely the right choice for me. I love my major, my friends, the campus, and all of the amazing opportunities that Wes provides, such as the study abroad programs! I’ve grown so much as a person throughout my time here, and learned so much about myself.
However, even though I love Wesleyan, the first few months as a transfer student were a bit of an adjustment, and there were so many things that I wish I had known during my first semester. Looking back on my time here, I’ve gathered my top 6 tips to help navigate being a transfer student:
Tip #1: Things take time. Like anything in life, things take time and it may be a little while before you feel completely settled in at Wes. That’s what happened to me, and it’s so normal! You may feel frustrated that you aren’t making friends quickly enough, or that you still don’t know where the best study spot is, or what to do on a Friday night. Try not to stress about this stuff, because it just simply takes time, as annoying as that may be. The longer you’re at Wes, the more comfortable you’ll feel, the more people you’ll get to know, and the more accustomed to campus you’ll be.
Tip #2: Put yourself out there. This is probably something that people will tell you over and over again, but it’s true! As a new student, it’s important to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to ask to grab lunch with people, or invite classmates to study together in Exley. Students at Wesleyan are very open to meeting new people, so don’t be hesitant to initiate that. I met so many of my friends by simply just asking them to grab lunch after we had only met once or twice–it’s totally normal, and will help you meet a ton of new friends and connections on campus!
Tip #3: Go to the pre-planned campus events and activities. As a transfer student, you may feel apprehensive about going to some of the activities or events that are typically advertised to freshmen, such as the clubs fair. However, it turns out that people of all ages and grades go to these events! Don’t be concerned that you’ll be the only sophomore or junior there, because that’s not the case. Joining a club or another on-campus organization is an awesome way to make friends and get involved at Wesleyan. Also, try to go to the events that are planned for transfer students throughout the semester, because it’s a great way to connect with different students in the transfer community.
Tip #4: Figure out how your credits will transfer to Wes. This was one of my biggest mistakes as a transfer student! I had no idea how my credits from Wake were going to transfer to Wesleyan, and I ended up being slightly behind in credit hours when I came in. I had to take a course over winter session, which wasn’t a big deal (it was actually super fun!) but just make sure you know this early so you can plan accordingly. My class dean helped me navigate this, but your advisor will also be able to help.
Tip #5: Try not to compare Wesleyan to your old school. In the beginning, there were times when I found myself comparing certain aspects of Wake to Wesleyan. Instead of doing this, try to embrace Wesleyan as much as you can!
Tip #6: People want to help you. There are so many resources on campus for transfer students, including CAPS, academic peer advisors, your RA, and professors, just to name a few! Don’t be afraid to use these resources, because they are here to make your transition as smooth as possible. People want to help and support you as much as they can!