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Transfer Student Survival Guide

Transfer Student Survival GuideImagine being a penguin in a jungle, somewhere unfamiliar that you’re jumping into headfirst. For many transfer students at Monmouth, this is a common feeling.

If you’re stressing about fitting into Monmouth as a new transfer student, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are unlimited ways to overcome the struggles of being a transfer student. Monmouth offers numerous resources to help transfers adjust to life here.

Erica DiNapoli, a junior business administration student, transferred to Monmouth this year. “I’m feeling like a freshman again,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out where everything is, and I’m trying to meet people.”

One of the most common difficulties of being a transfer student is the social aspect of college. But meeting friends at a new school is easier than you may think.

DiNapoli continued, “You have to put yourself out there and go out and meet people. I’m doing that all over again. It can be scary at first, because you don’t know anybody and you don’t know how they are. But if you get invited to things, you should go regardless.”

“Just try to make the best out of it. If you transfered as a junior, you have two years left and at that point, you might as well make them count,” she added.

Take advantage of the events that are hosted right here on campus. There are so many things to look forward to. For instance, Gift-Card Bingo and Casino Night are happening on family weekend from Sept. 28-30.

There are a bunch of opportunities to get involved and make new friends that will last you a lifetime. Sometimes, diving in headfirst is the best way to get familiar with the students, faculty, and environment here at Monmouth.

Erin Chen, a junior business administration student, is trying to adjust to her first few weeks as a recent transfer student. She said, “Try to make friends. I know it’s really hard, because people here have known each other for a while. But once you find some people or a group of friends, you’ll become more comfortable and adjust easier.”

Another way to adjust to life at Monmouth is to set goals. Goals help you figure out exactly what you want to achieve, whether it’s social, academic, or personal.

It’s not uncommon for different schools to handle academics differently, so the best way to overcome being thrusted into a new environment is to have a planner to stay organized. That will help you avoid potentially missing any deadlines.

Anthony Urmey, the Director of Transfer Services, has been working with transfer students exclusively for about nine years. He offered his advice to transfer students who are trying to adjust to Monmouth life.

“You want to build resume experience. And this is where the shortened timeline really comes into play; you have to start doing these things from day one,” he said.

“You don’t have time like first year students to explore and figure things out. Get that experience through clubs and extracurricular activities to develop your resume,” Urmey added.

While you build your resume experience, joining extracurricular activities is also the perfect way to get involved and meet new people. You’ll likely find friends with common interests.

Remember the golden rule: no question is a dumb question. “Advocate for yourself,” continued Urmey. “Ask questions from the get-go. Talk to [your advisor], figure out what courses you need to take and when, in order to graduate in a timely manner.”

“Be proud of that fact that you’re a transfer student,” Urmey said. “You really accomplished something, especially if you’ve earned an Associate’s Degree. You can be a Monmouth student and still be a proud transfer student. The fact that you came through a lot to get here means so much.”

Don’t let the difficulties of being in a new school discourage you from your studies and your social life. Rather, get out there, meet amazing people, and do amazing things. Make the best out of your time here at Monmouth, because the future has so much in store. Hawks fly together.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jenna Puglisi