The deadline to transfer to VCU for the Fall 2018 semester was March 15, which means transfer admission decisions will be sent out very soon. Being a transfer student means you are not the traditional college student. Transferring from one university to another can make you feel out of place and out of the loop, especially transferring in between the fall and spring semesters. However, the experience is survivable, and I will share some key things that I learned in the process.
1. There are more transfer students at VCU than you think there are.
After being accepted to VCU for the spring 2018 semester, I registered for and attended a New Student Orientation specifically for transfer students. I was surprised to see that I was joined by good company – over 200 other transfer students were present at this orientation alone. It was eye-opening to realize there were so many other students who were in the same situation as me, and that I would not be alone in the transfer process to VCU.
2. Nobody can tell if you are a transfer student.
Unless you choose to tell anyone, no one will be able to tell that you are a new student at VCU! Although being a transfer student is nothing to be ashamed of, it can be intimidating to think that the traditional students will somehow be able to tell that you transferred. The truth is that your status as a transfer student is obvious to no one else, and absolutely nobody will judge you for it if they do know.
3. The academic advisers care about you just as much as their traditional students.
One fear I had when coming into VCU was that my academic adviser would not be as focused on helping me out as much as their students who had been there for longer. I was extremely mistaken; upon transferring to VCU, I was assigned an adviser specifically for transfer students. The advisers are enthusiastic to help you out, even with your unique situation. If anything, they want to devote as much energy as possible to making sure you feel acclimated!
4. There were enough on-campus housing options for me.
Entering halfway through the year meant I would have to find on-campus housing but would not have the traditional experience of picking my own roommate and room. Though I was not able to pick a roommate, the university did give me several options for housing and I was able to choose my residence building. If you apply for housing when the application opens and before the deadline, you will likely receive your first preference of housing and do not need to worry.
5. Making friends and joining clubs is possible.
A common myth I heard before transferring was that everyone has already settled into their friend groups and that you will be left out of already-established friend groups and student organizations. However, since new courses start at the beginning of each semester anyway, everyone, not just transfer students, will be finding themselves in new courses with new people. Most student organizations also hold interest meetings at the beginning of every semester to attract new/transfer students, meaning they are open to new members at any time!
Ultimately, transferring to any university will pose challenges, but the myths that most commonly plague us transfer students’ minds are not real. Transferring to VCU is not as intimidating as you think it is, and there are plenty of resources available to help you in your transition.
If you have any questions or concerns about transferring to VCU, please contact the VCU Transfer Center.