Blog: The Transfer Student's Survival Guide

The transition from community college to four-year university can be quite an adjustment. Here's a quick guide to surviving and enjoying the first year, from one transfer student to another.

Here are seven ways to make your transition as a transfer student as smooth as possible. 

1. Attend office hours. After an eighteen week semester, the ten week quarter system is brutal. Trust me, I've been there. That said, your professors want you to succeed and do well. Take advantage of this and attend office hours. Going to office hours is a good way to clarify material you don't understand, and an opportunity to ask questions if you're shy and don't like to speak up in class. Tuition is rising, so make the most of your (or your parents'!) money and get acquainted with your professors.

2. Don't go home every weekend. I'm not going to lie, it's tempting. Especially when it was early in the year and I didn't yet have a circle of friends to hang out with. But if you go home all the time, you may miss out on the opportunities to meet new people and start a new life in Davis.

3. Stock up on extra socks and underwear. Especially if you're lazy like me and aren't used to doing your own laundry on a regular basis. Plus, you'll be able to go longer in between loads, cutting down on water usage

4.  Learn to cook! The whole "starving student" deal is true... if you allow it to be that way. If you're like me and never cooked when you lived with your parents, now is the time to learn. Yes, money and time are limited. Yes, some nights you just can't help running to McDonalds. Never fear -- there are plenty of cookbooks aimed toward the college crowd that offer cheap, filling recipes. I also like checking out YouTube and Allrecipes.com when I feel like eating something besides sandwiches and ramen. (Here's a local , if you enjoy sweets as well). 

5. If you're going to party... be responsible! This can't be stressed enough. The freedom can feel overwhelming at first...you feel swamped with homework and want an escape, your parents aren't there to raise an eyebrow when you run from the house on Thursday night and slouch back in the wee hours of Friday morning. If possible, take classes that aren't back-to-back, so you can squeeze study time in between.

6. Network with other transfers. A good way to do this is by attending events for transfer students, hosted by the Student Recruitment and Retention Center.(Another bonus: free food is involved). No one better understands what you're going through than a fellow transfer student. Corny as it may sound, we're all in this together!

7. Find your niche. It can be anything... joining Band-Uh!, writing for The California Aggie, dancing for one (or more!) of the many groups on campus, or joining a fraternity. Having extra curriculars can be a good way to indulge in your passions, unwind from classes and make lifelong friends. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

LIzzy October 05, 2011 at 04:51 PM
One more idea for those leaning to plan meals, shop economically, and cook healthy: The Davis Food Co-op publishes a newspaper column called "12 for 40" -- 12 healthy easy meals for $40 -- with shopping lists and recipes. Pick up printouts of back columns at the tasting table back by the meat counter and beer aisle.
Justin Cox October 06, 2011 at 07:49 PM
I'm not a student, but I could surely benefit from that "12 for 40" column. I'm on it. Also, Lauren: I left school on weekends constantly during my first year. I subsequently spend many weekdays hanging out in my dorm room, chatting online with the people I went to high school with. Bad move. I learned my lesson and had a vibrant social life the following year, and they became lifelong friends. Great blog.
Michael Ann Riley October 08, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Ha! I just noticed my link in there :-)) This is great advice for freshman students as well!


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