As a transfer student myself, I am still trying to navigate the transition from a small community college to an enormous university. It’s almost the same feel as attending college for the first time. From what I’ve learned and experienced so far both from Rutgers and having attended college, here’s a small checklist for a (hopefully) seamless transition:
- Meet with an advisor. Whether you know what you’re doing, or you think you know what you’re doing, it is vital to regularly meet with an advisor to discuss your goals or plan in the next 2-4 years. Sure, there’s Degree Navigator, but isn’t it much better to talk to an actual person and have them know you to support you with your career path?
- Be involved. Academically and extracurricular-ly (is that even a word?). Academics is the most significant aspect of this chapter of your life, but making connections with other people who will nurture your personal growth is also another thing you would want to take advantage of. Join clubs and organization. Participate in research and activities. Volunteer to community services. The experiences you will gain from these are incomparable. And what you do now will most likely determine where you will end up in the future, so make the best out of it. Don’t let fear and anxiety stop you from doing what you want. It’s scary at first, but allow yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Ultimately, YOU are the person who’s going to benefit from all of this. You can visit http://getinvolved.rutgers.edu/ to see some of the organization that run on campus.
- Textbooks. Click this link to check the textbooks you’ll be needing for your class(es).
- ONLINE MODULES! If you still haven’t done so, complete the online modules that are required for all incoming first-year and transfer students.
- IMMUNIZATION RECORDS. You should have completed this by now. All students are required to submit their immunization records mandated by NJ State laws and the university. Check your status on https://rutgers.medicatconnect.com/.
- Women in STEM? Check out Douglass Residential College. They provide opportunities such as learning communities, scholarships, leadership, etc. to women in the STEM field. Most things you need to know, you can visit their website.
- Dorming? Housing assignments will be assigned this week for first-year and transfer students, yay!! Check the Residence Life website for information. Don’t hesitate to call or email them if you have any questions. They’re very responsive!! Also, if you applied for housing, you may have received a mail about the Residence Hall Linens Program. Keep that in mind.
- ALWAYS pay attention to deadline and/or due dates. Be it with homework, payments, project submission, etc. Even if you have time to procrastinate, don’t. Everything’s going to go by so fast and before you know it, it’s already the day before deadline. Use your time wisely and efficiently. Imagine the free time you can have if you start everything as early as possible.. It’s not easy, but it will be worth it.
- Waive Insurance. If you already have insurance coverage, you can waive the Student Healthcare Plan provided by the university. Go to https://www.universityhealthplans.com/.
Most importantly, as you go forward this journey, surround yourself with people who encourage and support you. College is hard, no lie. It’s balancing education, adulthood, and everything in between. But your friends will make it more bearable as you go through the hard parts. And never forget to take care of yourself. When things get ridiculously difficult, rest. It’s okay. College may be hard, but it can also be the best time of your life if you make it so. 😁