Remember when you were a freshman? You had just arrived at a new school where you more than likely knew no one. You had no idea where anything was, and you didn’t have the first clue what to do. Well, that’s what it’s like for the transfer students, but worse. When you were a freshman, everyone else was in the same boat. Your dorm was filled with other brand new students who were just as clueless as you. For the transfer students, it’s a rougher adjustment, since most people in their class have already made friends and found a routine.
Fortunately, I love my school, and I haven’t transferred, but not everyone is as lucky as I am. Some people just don’t find their perfect fit at their original choice, and so they decide to switch schools. This semester, a handful of transfer students have moved into my dorm—that means a handful of new friends!
It’s important to reach out to transfer students. Arriving at a new school where you know no one can be very scary and isolating. Here are some great ways to make the adjustment easy for them:
Attend floor events: Many RAs like to hold events in the dorms to foster a feeling of community among the people who live there. However, some people just feel like they’re too cool for cookie decorating or stress ball making. Don’t be one of those kids. Attending these events is an easy way not only to meet the new people on the floor, but also other people as well. It’s much more pleasant to walk through the hall and have a sense of camaraderie with the other people who live there than it is to be cool alone in your room.
Take them to the dining hall: Someone has to teach these new students to stay away from the tacos! Don’t make them learn the hard way. Eating alone is somewhat awkward and can easily make people feel lonely. Make sure transfers don’t have to eat by themselves, and invite them out to dinner. Going out as a group can easily make them feel like they’re a part of the floor. Dinner provides a great opportunity for conversation and getting to know each other.
Invite them to your room: Nothing brings people together like a trashy television marathon or a night of watching Disney movies. Pop some popcorn and let the fun begin! You may be surprised that the transfers enjoy keeping up with those crazy Kardashians just as much as you do. If there’s a show that a lot of people enjoy maybe you could even move the gathering into the lounge.
Offer to give them a tour: Finding your way around a new campus can be extremely difficult, especially if you go to a large school. Give transfer students a tour from the student perspective, pointing out all the things their tour guide may have missed. Show them quiet places to study or the fun hangouts on campus. They’ll definitely be thankful.
Are you a transfer? Do you know any transfers?