Advice for transfer students
With the sudden arrival of the Class of 2008 here at AU, another group gets overshadowed as it joins the AU community. They may not be the naive freshmen, but they could also use some good advice as they continue their education here in Northwest D.C. These are the transfer students who have come to AU to complete their education.
Transfer students come from schools nationwide, big and small. They transfer for a number of reasons. They didn't like their old school; AU costs less (hard to imagine, I know); AU is a better school; they want to study in the nation's capital. All of these factors could come into play as they make this big move.
Although many of you transfer students may have an idea what college life is all about, AU can be a place that you compare to your past institution. When I came here in fall 2002 after two years at Penn State, I wasn't sure what to expect. Now, two years later with diploma in hand, I am glad that I made the transition.
The first thing to remember is that AU is not like your old school, regardless of what your old school was. The professors are harder because they are better. The classes may be longer at different hours of the day than you are used to. The atmosphere is different, as there are many people going to school here for different reasons.
Second, AU may be farther away from home than you are used to. Or it may be closer. Either way, expect a change in your study habits based on this fact. You may get out more, hang out with classmates or take part in more extracurricular activities. Whatever you do, remember what I said about professors being harder, and don't fail out.
Third, making friends may seem like the hardest thing, but relax. You made friends at your old school, and you'll make them here. Hang out with your roommate, your neighbors, your classmates. Go to TDR in groups. Don't be shy about parties. You don't have four years at AU to make good relationships, so you have to speed up the process.
Probably the best piece of advice I can give to you is to get involved on campus or in the city. Get an internship in D.C. so you can advance your career goals. Choose one or two campus activities. Any more than that and you risk not having enough time for academics. Enjoy yourself, but remember this is college, and not just any college.
American University has been an excellent institution for me to complete my undergraduate career. I am thankful for everything the school was able to offer me in my short time here.
It is only available, though, if you're willing
to use it.