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Back to the Books: Tips for transfer students on how to triumph over their first year at UO

As a new year starts, many wide- eyed new students will be experiencing the campus in a rush of new classes, new rules, and plenty of ins and outs to adjust to. While the traditional freshman student will feel this more than most, there’s a group of students who will also have to adjust.

The 1,181 transfer students may have made up a small part of the enrolled student body for 2016, but they also experience different struggles that can set them back substantially.

Here’s a few tips  and tricks from a fellow transfer student that could make that transition from wherever you’re coming from, whether another large university or a tiny community college a little bit smoother.

One: Get involved. It sounds obvious, but it’s true. There’s a group or club for every different interest, or even ones that you had no idea you’d like. This is a way to find people who share your enthusiasm, and those friendships can be a lifesaver.

Two: Be aware of transfer student dysphoria. When a student transfers from a different school, there’s certain adjustments that they aren’t prepared for. Some of those can include grading systems, class sizes, and workload. Coming from a community college, the large class sizes of over 200 can be disorienting and can cause your normally high GPA to take a plunge. Keep in contact with an adviser to make sure that you’re transitioning properly into this new environment.

Three: Find an adviser you like. Most students wouldn’t think about it, but when you’re assigned to an adviser, it’s not set in stone. If you feel that another person can help you more, don’t feel bad if you switch. The main priority is your success, and finding an adviser who knows you and knows how to help you will make the process much easier.

Four: Understand what classes you still need. In many cases and especially when it comes to major based classes, the admissions agreements between schools might not match up. This might mean you need to take a class that seems completely identical to one you’ve already taken, but due to credit weight they might not coincide with the class you’ve already taken.

Five: Be proactive about your schedule. Scout the buildings early and know what you’re going to need. While this seems obvious, it can set any student back going into a new environment without being prepared. This also means planning in the long term, by knowing exactly what you need and when you should take it. Live by your degree evaluation plan and always check in with your adviser if you have any questions or concerns.

Six: Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t think that taking six classes is going to be as easy as it would be in a smaller school. Adjust yourself to the new environment and by easing into a schedule that you can work with. Overworking yourself in the beginning might seem like a faster way to get your degree, but it can also harm your grades and overall GPA.

Seven: Enjoy your time. It may seem like you need to get everything done all at once, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time as a college student at a university. UO has an incredible amount of activities to participate in that can not only boost your resume, but are enjoyable as well. These are the last moments before entering the real world that you can enjoy yourself without worry, so do it.

Each transfer student has a unique story of why they chose UO. With a few simple but important steps, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of transfer student dysphoria and truly enjoy your time as an Oregon Duck.

Follow Erin Carey on Twitter: @elcarey

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Erin Carey

Erin Carey

Erin Carey is a Senior Reporter, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Comparative Literature. She loves coffee, hockey and telling visitors at the Oregon Zoo random facts about the animals.