Transferring to a new college can be a daunting and over-whelming task, especially at the University of Central Florida, which is one of the most well regarded and biggest schools in the country. I've been there. It can feel like you have to start all over again in many aspects, since you have to rebuild all the relationships you previously had in your last college (social and professional). Lucky for you, UCF is experienced in receiving transfer students and has many resources available to you. But where do you even get started?
I cannot count the amount of people I know that have made mistakes in their academic career because they did not visit their adviser at least once every two months. Advisers are one of your most important resources and they will want to help you succeed. It's their job. They will point you in the right direction for whatever task you want, and even if they can't answer one of your questions directly, they will point you to someone who can. Make sure you write down what you want to ask them before your visit to be able to make the most out of your time with them. Here are some example questions to get started:
- What classes should I take next semester?
- What clubs or organizations are available to help me in my major?
- What are all the resources available to me as a student in my major?
- Are there any courses that I may be interested in that are only offered in spring or fall?
- What minors best compliment my major?
Advisers at UCF are easy to find and even have walk-in hours most of the time so you don't have to make an appointment. It's as easy as googling your department and advising with it. For example, google: "UCF English Department advising hours". If you still cant find it, ask one of your teachers, they will know where to point you.
This accomplishes a variety of goals. If the club/organization has anything to do with your major, you gain knowledge and experience from that. Although it doesn't necessarily have to be associated with your major. The main point of this tip is to assume responsibility or create discipline in something outside of your studies and to get involved on campus. UCF offers many clubs that anyone can enter. This will also help a lot with the third tip, which is just as important.
This may seem like an obvious one, but I moved to Orlando as a transfer student with no friends whatsoever, and it was a lonely experience for a while. In meeting my roommates I found unexpected friends, and that made me feel happier in general. Your mental health is important for many things not just in your academic career, but in your life. If you can't make friends with your roommates, find a group elsewhere. Having a group where you have a feeling of belonging is of immeasurable value when you've just moved far away from what used to be your home. Make sure you have this in your academic life, there needs to be a balance so you can pursue your ambitions in a healthy manner.
This also includes students and teachers. Even if you're not a very social person, it's important to meet people with the same professional interests as you. Try to make it your goal to talk to one person in your class every week. As for your professor, make sure you go to office hours at least twice in the semester, so they can tell you care (especially if it's a class regarding your major). This also helps with making important connections within your department to get started on research. Having at least two professors who know you well is important because you will need letters of recommendations eventually.
UCF is filled with people of different cultures and most of them are eager to find connections and friends. Be socially courageous and go for it!
Becoming a UCF transfer student is a big step that is commendable in itself. However, you can't stop there. For most transfer students, like myself, this step is only the beginning of the journey. When I transferred to UCF, I had a very slow start because of the barrage of responsibilities I seemed to have. After I talked to my adviser, got more involved on campus, and became more sociable I made so much progress in only one semester. It's okay to be stressed, it's only human, but UCF offers you all the resources you need in order to move forward and beyond.