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The Transfer Student Experience at BU

by Alexis Puthussery

Photo by Sophia Kysela

Moving to a new place for college can be hard enough as it is. Not only is there a physical environment to adjust to — a new campus, new schedule, new living spaces — but the social scene is very overwhelming for many. The dining and lecture halls can seem like a sea of strangers, in which one must put themselves out there to meet new people. While it can be scary, it’s, luckily, a feeling that almost every freshman goes through on a new college campus.

However, transfer students face a particularly unique challenge in this regard.

Adithya Iyer (CAS ‘24) said, “It was tough to make friends with people who were already in established groups.” Iyer came to BU from the University of Oregon in the Fall of 2021 as a guaranteed transfer.

Iyer emphasized the feelings of loneliness that many transfer students are prone to. It’s not hard to imagine feeling isolated when an entire class has had a year or even more to bond.

“Even though you have a lot of people around you, it’s still a little isolating,” Iyer explained, “You’re not alone, but you’re lonely.”

Iyer found his community on campus through the BU Mock Trial team and will even be living with some of his teammates next semester. He wishes he had known about all the extracurriculars and opportunities BU had to offer before coming, as they have been a great help with his transition into BU.

Mia Groves (COM ‘22) transferred in the fall of her junior year in 2020 from Pasadena City College. She chose BU because of its renowned public relations program.

For her, BU resources were a great help to ease into the school academically. She said the COM advisors, especially her advisor Annie Hickey (who Groves wanted to make known just how integral she was to her transfer experience), were excellent and eased any worries about transfer credits.

She also talked about the Facebook groups for transfer students, from which she found her first roommate and was able to connect to many other transfers who shared experiences.

Groves’ advice to any transfer student, or any student in general, is “to be open to anyone and anything.” With this mentality, she has been able to enjoy her time at BU and make plenty of friends.

Transferring to a new school, like anything else, is an experience that varies from person to person. However, it’s not hard to see how — for most transfers — it can be an intimidating and even difficult shift, starting over in a brand new environment when most people have grown used to their lives. However, as Iyer and Groves have shown, transferring can result in a fulfilling college experience.

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