When you’re a new transfer student, it can feel like being a freshman all over again. The biggest difference is that college tend to hold less events for transfer students, so it can feel like you are on your own when it comes to getting involved on campus. Don’t let that stop you from making the most of your college experience!
Here are five ways to take initiative and get involved in your college’s community:
Live On Campus Or Nearby
Consider living on campus if you’re able to afford it and your college has enough room for transfer students. You will naturally make friends if you have a roommate and by frequently seeing other people who live in your building. Most school owned building have a resident advisor (RA) or another staff member who will hold events for residents or tell you about opportunities to get involved on campus. Since you’ll almost always be on campus, being invited to tag along to events at the last minute won’t be a problem.
Get A Job
If you have enough time in your schedule, check out the available student jobs at your college especially if you are eligible for work study. There are more jobs offered than working in the dining hall or library, so don’t turn down the idea before you take a look. Individual academic departments might need a student to help with marketing and communications, or the college president’s office could be looking for student secretaries. Good for your resume, wallet, and learning more about the how your college operates!
Join A Transfer Student Group
Check if your college offers a student group or board specifically for transfer students. Students likely have some input on programming, so find out which group or office is in charge of events for transfer students when they first arrive on campus such as orientation or welcome week type activities. This is also helpful to do if you hope to become involved with undergraduate student government at some point. You’ll gain relevant experience and be able to advocate for issues that are unique to transfer students.
Find Student Clubs Related To Your Interests
Whether you hope to bond with fellow pre-law students or love hip hop dancing, there’s at least one club to fit your interests. Many colleges offer a student club fair at the beginning of the semester for students to visit tables about club offerings and sign up to receive more information. You could also ask your academic advisor about clubs related to your major. It will be good for expanding your professional network and making new friends!
Joining a sorority or fraternity is another great way to meet new people as a transfer student. You’ll be able to make a new group of friends quickly, have academic support from study sessions, and get involved in your college’s community through events such as fundraising for a local charity. If you don’t want to make the commitment of joining Greek life right away, attend the events the sororities or fraternities hold. It will give you a taste of Greek life and allow you to meet some of the current members. Some chapters may only be open to new members rushing at the beginning of the school year, but others hold informal recruitment at various times throughout the year. Check your college’s website for the specific recruitment process of the sorority or fraternity in which you’re interested.
Getting involved on campus can take a little extra effort if you are a transfer student, but it will be worth it. You have a higher chance of meeting people and becoming part of the community if you put yourself out there and attend events and clubs on campus. It may take some time, but getting involved will help you make the most of your college experience!