The University Network

Tips for First-Time or Transfer Students

If you are thinking of applying to college for the first time, or contemplating transferring to another college, this is the right place for you to start. I speak from personal experience. I was so stressed as a high school senior and had no idea what I was doing. I felt I had no passion, or no true passion to continue in a career for the rest of my life. I was also worried about my resume and the way I would be seen by colleges. All in all, I was worried about everything that was happening and the future that was coming. Now I have started applying to transfer schools and the rush of nervous feelings have come back. But this time, I know what to do.

Here are some tips that will help you with the application, or transfer, process.

Beef up your resume

I attended quite a hardcore school in my hometown. All the courses were considered college prep courses, and the goal was to get into a brilliant four-year college with the hopes of even more school and a masters degree after. With that came a lot of other competitive students within my class. They had better grades, more school activities, and a resume filled to the brim. That made me worry about my resume.

If you are in a similar situation, don’t stress. Join clubs, become a leader, be a volunteer or an activist of some sort. You will learn so many new skills and enjoy the experience. The best part is that these activities will enhance your resume.

Applying as a first-timer or transfer

I had not wanted to start the college process at all. And yet, at the end of the day, I applied to sixteen colleges. Sixteen! Looking back, I definitely should have cut down. There was no need for myself to apply to sixteen different schools. But I learned one thing from that experience, which is how to write personal essays efficiently, and it is helping me with my transfer applications.

In writing personal essays, you shouldn’t copy and paste. Instead, you should have a basic outline that will help you write a “personalized” personal essay for each individual college or university you apply to. You will also find it helpful to create an outline with individualized topics for each school, which you can expand upon in your essays.

Wait patiently

At the end of applying, take a breather. Realize that you’ve finished one of the hardest parts! There is nothing more that you can do once that submit button is hit. Relax and stop yourself from checking that admission status link until it is time to do so. There is no need to refresh and refresh to see “NO ADMISSION STATUS AVAILABLE.”

Quit worrying yourself! I did that as a high school senior, but then I realized all I could do was wait. I had done all my hard work, four years of hard high school work, and my fate was truly in the hands of another. I did my part and could only patiently hope and wait. I will be doing the same with my transfer applications.

Moving away

Don’t worry if your preferred school is far from home. I chose a school 4 hours away from my hometown, and was initially very nervous, as I would be truly living on my own for the first time in a completely different city where I knew absolutely no one else. But I needn’t have worried. I have had so much more fun than I expected, and am even planning on living in New York full time. It just goes to show how worrying about it was silly. I fell in love with my new surroundings, and the homesickness comes and goes, but it helps to remember that my family and friends miss me too.

You also don’t need to worry about losing your friends. Not one of my friends attended a school in the same city as me. In fact, many of them stayed in my hometown. I was terrified that I would feel alone and never speak to them again, but it has been quite the opposite. I have stayed in touch with the majority of them and have even gone to visit them at their schools, which is even more exciting than just having friends at mine. Now I get to experience another person’s campus, not just my own! So don’t fret; friends will always be friends.

So trust yourself and trust that everything will work out, even though you may need to plan to get there.