Tips for a smooth mid-year college transfer

GVL / Emly Frye
Group of international/transfer students finalizing their schedules for this new semester.

GVL / Emly Frye Group of international/transfer students finalizing their schedules for this new semester.

Colleen Schonfield

New people, new environment, new journey. The start of every semester brings its own set of stressors and anxiety-driven factors, but for mid-year transfer students, it can be a time where adjustment is slow to follow. Whether it be from a two-year college or another university, transferring schools during the middle of an academic year can undoubtedly prove to be more challenging than starting fresh in the fall.

However, despite being a challenge, transferring mid-year doesn’t mean all hope is lost when it comes to making new friends, getting involved in a student club or staying on track with academic priorities. In fact, it can be a time to get to know the school better, including everything it has to offer to benefit academic pathways and accommodate transitional changes. At Grand Valley State University, mid-year transfer students seeking a smooth transition can find resources scattered abundantly around campus. To get started though, here are four tips for making a mid-year transition a successful one.

1. Get to know your adviser.

Each program at GVSU has its own set of faculty advisers who are more than happy to answer questions a student may have regarding the program. An adviser has the power to determine whether a student will graduate or not. Stopping by a faculty adviser’s office on a regular basis not only puts a name to a face, but also can help develop a better connection between you and the program. Advisers not only point students in the right direction of academic success, but also can aid in networking with professionals to establish potential internships.

2. Join a student organization that fits your interests

One of the most highly emphasized suggestion to any new student is to get involved on campus. Of the hundreds of student organizations, it’s important to choose one that can benefit your academic interests. Majoring in broadcasting? Join Whale Radio. Majoring in Advertising/Public Relations? Join PRSSA. Each academic program has its set of faculty advisers as well as corresponding student organizations that make it easier to connect with peers in your program.

3. Explore campus

Finding your way around campus can prove to be difficult, especially if you missed orientation. Although most academic buildings are grouped together and maps are posted around campus, exploring the buildings where you may not have classes is an essential part of getting to know the university better. Take a tour of the Mary Idema Pew Library, or ride the bus downtown to the Pew Campus and explore Grand Rapids; whatever it may be, it’s important to be open-minded and find out all that GVSU can offer for students as a part of the Laker family.

4. Discover academic resources

As the semester soon gets underway, it’s important to find the right resources to help you succeed in your academic journey. At GVSU, a range of services such as the Writing Center, Knowledge Market and Speech Lab all aim to serve as a resource for students who need help in particular areas of their studies. Knowing where and how to utilize these resources will help aid in the academic process, which in the end, could easily determine the difference between an A and B in a class.