A guide for spring semester transfers
Jene Thomas – News Editor
According to Factbook, Southern’s compiled data on enrollment patterns, 292 new students transferred to Southern in the spring of 2015.
As if transferring to another school is not difficult enough, acclimating to such a change in the spring is a more complicated transition. I would know; I transferred to Southern in the spring of 2014.
When I came here two years ago, I knew I would have to try even harder to make friends. By the spring semester, people have already grouped up. Bonds have already been forged. As a sophomore, I was transferred to Brownell Hall, where students had surpassed that freshman surrounding of everyone meeting and congregating in the lobby for events and activities.
To make matters even worse, I transferred in a week after school had already started so I missed the Week of Welcome events where I could have potentially met new transfer students. I was already off to a slow start. Coming from a bigger school, it was a big adjustment, but I made it through.
Fast forward two years, I realize that I am in a great place. I am expected to graduate in May with honors, I have made terrific friends, and most importantly, I have had great experiences. As my time at Southern comes to an end, I want to give a voice to other transfer students and ask them to embrace the change.
Making friends can be hard for some people. I am a shy person. I only come out of my shell with people I am comfortable with. A new college can be intimidating, but Laura Olivo, a senior biochemistry student working in the First Year Experience office offers a suggestion.
“Start by talking to the people in your classes because they are aiming for similar things that you are,” said Olivo.
Transfer students usually come with some general requirement classes already under their belt. As they get into their core major classes, class sizes begin to decrease and the same students become more apparent. Students often become more comfortable with dwindling class sizes and familiar faces. Start by asking for classmate’s phone numbers to get homework in case of absences.
A big way I got to know a lot of my friends was by getting involved. Each semester, the university hosts a club fair, usually in the Adanti Student Center ballroom. With all of the vast organizations that attend, students can usually find something that piques at their interests. Attend a few first meetings, gauge the surroundings and determine if these are like-minded people that share your interests. If it’ not a good match, try another.
The university also offers a lot of activities, both on weekdays and weekends for students.
“Your student email is probably your best resource because everything that’s going on around campus is thrown out there in your email,” said Olivo.
Despite the social aspect, there is one thing Southern has that requires another person’s help. It is incredibly important for transfer student to be very familiar with their advisors. Navigating through that L.E.P degree program is complicated, especially after coming from an institution with another set up.
In fact, I didn’t even know this myself, but every semester, every student gets a pin number to register for his or her classes for the following semester. My first semester, I got up at 6 a.m. just like everyone else did, but shortly found out that I wasted my time because I couldn’t register for anything since I never had that pin. The individual pin is given to students when they speak with their advisors.
It is a big change transferring from one school to another because Southern probably doesn’t have the same setup as other institutions. However, when surrounded by the right people, students soon realize how easy it is to be an owl.
Photo Credit: Jene Thomas