5 Things Everyone Should Know About Transfer Students


I transferred to Colorado State University after spending my freshman year at a small community college in Steamboat, Colorado. After laughing about my transfer experience with friends, I was able to combine this funny but true list of things that made me feel out of place after transferring to a new school. Hopefully this list will help you better understand and relate to your transfer friends.

We are not freshman! 

The first thing we would like you to know about us: we are not first-time freshmen! As a student who may look and feel new to CSU being new to CSU doesn’t mean we are new to college.

We don't know where any of the dorms are

Second, we have no clue where any of the dorms are located: Allyson Hall, Steve’s Hall or Billy Bob’s Hall. The only thing that I actually need to know is which one has the closest bathroom, is it by the orange sculpture thing or is it the one across from the IM fields? Not knowing the dorm names made me feel dumb, but it just meant that I did not have an orientation that pointed them out to me. Smiling and nodding is how transfer students normally cope when you say you are from ‘Whatever Hall.’

We don't know the class lingo. What is COM332?

COM 332 or HIST 376 probably doesn’t make any sense to us. Our previous schools might not have included such terminology and it probably didn’t translate the exact same when we switched schools. PLEASE stick to subject based classes rather than the specific course number. This conversation suggestion would not only be appreciated by transfer students, but also, students in different departments. We would thank people for saying the subject and not that HIST 376 gibberish.

We probably won't bleed green and gold

School spirit might not be for us. A lot of school pride is taught and placed on you during your first year at school. Freshman year is when you are most likely to live on campus and for school to become a big part of your life. Many transfer students live off campus and never experienced the same ‘all in’ culture. Although school spirit is a great experience to have while in school, transfer students might not be as enthusiastic as you when it comes to the Green and Gold.

We often feel like outsiders

The last thing that every transfer student wants you to know is that it is harder to make friends when coming into an established community. It is more difficult to be new as a latecomer than to have been in a group from the start. A lot of college community is made in the first year through dorm life and freshmen orientation events. We don’t want to be pitied, but if someone were to simply open the door for us to a new community we would be forever grateful. This could be simply introducing us to a few people or inviting us along with your friends to a local town hotspot. Being included by people is a huge game changer when we are trying to find our feet in a new environment.

Thoughts by former transfer student Abigail Sanford