5 Reasons to Attend Transfer Orientation
It’s not uncommon for students to attend community colleges and transfer to four-year universities as they go into their junior year. The transfer population at my undergraduate university was vast; I even spent a year working as a mentor to transfer students in one of the residence halls. One thing I noticed the most while living with those students was how little they seemed to know about the school and the campus before they began, and how much they had to find out through trial and error.
If you aren’t a freshman, you might think orientation is not for you. But, orientation can be a useful experience for any incoming student, even a transfer who already has a few years of classes under their belt. Here’s a few reasons you should hit up that transfer orientation before the start of fall semester:
Learn where things are on campus.
Sure, you can take the tour, or go exploring on your own, but the people guiding orientation are usually students—maybe even former transfers themselves—and they can offer some special insight on where to go for what.
Meet other transfer students.
When you enter a school as a freshman, you have built in ways of meeting new people: you’re thrown in with other first years, in general education classes, dorm rooms, and freshman orientation. Transfers don’t usually have that luxury, so attending orientation is a great way to connect with other transfers in your major, and make quick friends.
Get the low-down on registration.
As a college instructor, I primarily taught freshman and transfer students, and one of the most common questions they had for me was how to register for courses. Freshman and transfers sometimes have holds on their accounts that may require them to see their academic advisor before they can register. At orientation, they can answer questions about this process, and you can feel more prepared if you run into any issues with registration.
Learn about campus organizations.
Orientations often have some sort of showcase or info session on the campus orgs you can join. Joining up with an organization is a great way to make friends and meet people with common interests, as well as network and mingle with professors and professionals in your major field. Plus, it can give you some opportunities to bulk up that CV.
Feel more like a part of the student body.
If you spent the first year or two at a different university, you might feel a little disconnected or separate from the new school and campus. By immersing yourself into the new campus’ culture at orientation, you might be off to a better start toward feeling like a part of things, rather than just a newbie.
Orientation might seem like a freshman thing to do, but attending as a transfer could really help you feel more comfortable and better acquainted with your new school. Hit up the bookstore, grab a t-shirt, and make yourself at home.