Transferring in the spring is an entirely different beast than in the fall and is different than in general. You’re jumping in at the middle of the year. Many people have already formed social groups, clubs have filled many positions, and you likely didn’t get a lot of choice with classes.

Social Groups Have Already Formed

Most people have already settled in, so it’s important to be extra outgoing. Watch out for events put on by your RA or building, by clubs, or by your school. These are great ways to meet new people. Sitting down next to random people in the cafeteria and introducing yourself is a good strategy too. I’ve met some of my closest friends using this strategy. I mean seriously, what’s the worst that can happen?

I’ve found that the worst thing that can happen is that people say no or be unpleasant, which is not my fault. When that happens, I move to a different table or sit by myself. You can also chat up random people in your classes, job, laundry room, etc. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re lucky, your school might have a special transfer services office to help you. When I transferred to Binghamton, they placed me on a designated transfer student floor and invited us all to a transfer student social to meet other transfer students.

Joining Clubs

Make a list of the clubs that you want to join. Find out the group leader’s contact information. Email them saying that you’re interested and ask how you can get involved. You may only need to show up to meetings to be a part of the group, but depending on the club, something more may be required. It’s important to do this quickly because there may be a deadline. Furthermore, many schools elect executive board members for their clubs at the end of spring semester, so if you plan well, you can be poised to land a position.

Academic Difficulties

If you’ve transferred in the spring, there probably weren’t a lot of options when you registered for classes. Try switching it around during the add/drop cycle. Talk to an advisor or someone in the relevant department if you have any questions. If you’re still in classes you’re not wild about, try to make the most of it.

Also, watch out for classes that are only offered at specific times. An introductory course or a prerequisite may only be offered during a particular semester. If you’re in the second part of a sequenced course, make sure you’re prepared. The material covered in courses often differs amongst schools. If you’re undeclared, it’s probably a good idea to look into the details of declaring your major. There might be deadlines or an application process, and you usually get priority in departmental classes when you’ve declared.

The important thing is just to be really proactive and to get the ball rolling ASAP.  You can do it!

Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina