by Kami Rieck
photography courtesy of Pexels
Every transfer student at Boston University is able to recall the blissful memory of opening their long-awaited letter of acceptance. A feeling of exhilaration consumed you, a series of screams were let loose, perhaps even a few tears were shed as this was undoubtedly the best news of the year.
This excitement was probably still palpable during your first week at BU, but sooner or later, if you haven’t already, you are bound to cross an arduous point of this transition. Being thrust into a brand new environment bears unexpected obstacles, but there are ways to make this change more bearable as you embrace being a new Terrier.
Keep in Contact with Your Academic Advisor
If you have concerns about credits transferring from your past institution, it is crucial to meet with an advisor. Not only will they help build your academic plan, but will also provide valuable insight for any questions related to classes. The advisor within your college will also provide guidance for switching majors, help you with adding a minor and point you to different resources if they are unable to answer your questions themselves.
Anna Pham (COM ’21) is a current transfer student and she said her advisor provided guidance in other areas, too.
“It was really helpful because I also wanted to study abroad possibly this summer, and there were a lot of requirements I didn’t know about,” Pham said. “If I didn’t meet up with an advisor, I wouldn’t have known what I know now.”
Utilize Campus Resources
Your support system at BU extends beyond academics—there are countless individuals who are dedicated to helping you navigate the university. Whether you are struggling with homesickness, dealing with roommate conflicts or grappling with the common cold, there are on-campus resources for any hurdle. It can feel intimidating to ask for guidance; but, people are rooting for you and success cannot be achieved alone.
Maggie Sawada, Assistant Director of Residence Life, said the ability to connect and make a difference with students is the sole purpose of her work.
“There is always someone here at the university willing to clasp their fingers together to make a foothold and give that boost to propel a student forward,” Sawada said. “Being open to and working to build those types of connections is often the difference between feeling isolated and feeling like an important part of our BU family.”
Get Involved with Clubs and Extracurriculars
It is easy to feel lost in the large pool of Terriers, but joining an on-campus organization will help you find your own community. Extracurricular activities not only expose you to people with common interests, but they allow you to channel passions outside of the classroom. Even if the academics make your workload seem impossibly heavy as is, involvement with clubs—even just one, if that’s all you can handle—promotes stronger time management skills and gives you a break from the textbooks.
Chad Jones (COM ’21) is a current transfer student involved in WTBU Sports and he said the friendships within this publication have extended beyond the work setting.
“Getting involved outside of a scholastic environment is really beneficial when you’re trying to build long-term friendships,” Jones said. “It [helped me] develop friendships outside of the organization.”
Be Patient with Yourself
The demands of being a student can feel overwhelming and a completely new environment can easily cause over-stimulation. Acknowledge that this adjustment does not just happen overnight—it can take months to become truly acclimated. Be kind to yourself by celebrating the efforts you have taken to make this place feel like home and never compare your progress to someone else’s.