Absorbing the Shock

Dealing with the transition between schools

Some students adapt well to their new surroundings after transferring to a university. Others, however, feel lonely, overwhelmed, and are unsure whether they can thrive at their new school. The latter experience is known as transfer shock, which could affect you if your new university fails to support you properly during the transition. Your grades could suffer, or you may decide to drop out.

Fortunately, many schools recognize these risks and have programs and services in place to safeguard against severe transfer shock. Dr. Marsha Logan, director of Adult & Transfer Student Services at University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, along with her staff, compiled the advice that follows to ensure that your academic performance doesn’t suffer and that you find your niche at a new school.

All Shook Up

Does the thought of attending a new university make you feel anxious and uncertain? To start off on the right foot at your new home, you can do a number of things to smooth the effects of transferring. Here are some important steps you can take: Take advantage of programs designed to help you adjust: transition workshops, career planning workshops, or university experience courses. A student affairs office and other academic departments often offer opportunities for new students to meet continuing students. These opportunities enable you to tap into the informal network that can provide information from peers about how to flourish in your new environment.

State of Shock

The decision to choose to continue your education at an out-of-state university may cause you to feel some anxiety. At most schools, however, the application process does not differ for out-of-state students. You will probably have to pay higher tuition, which is the standard at most universities. For students who decide to attend USF, relocation to the Tampa Bay area might be an adjustment. A variety of resources can help with housing arrangements. On-campus housing is available for transfer students, and many students live off campus. The USF Parking and Transportation Services department provides shuttles that have on-campus routes, as well as routes that serve several of the off-campus housing complexes. Contact your school’s housing and transportation offices for assistance.

Shock Value

To adjust to your new surroundings, it’s important that you not be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. You may have trouble establishing links that will assist you with social, academic, and personal development. Navigating the bureaucracy, policies, and procedures can be overwhelming. Find out if a department exists on campus for transfer students. If you have a positive attitude and commit to doing the best you can, you’ll consciously begin to discover new things, people, ideas, and experiences. Also, examine educational goals, implement time management and planning skills, practice good habits for eating and exercise, and identify campus support, safety, and health services.


This article was written by Crystal Conde

Crystal Conde is a freelance writer from Austin, Texas.

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