It’s difficult for any person to pack up and move away from their home for college. But it’s even more difficult when you have to pack up and move to the completely opposite coastline from your home for college. Moving cross country is tough!
As a girl born and raised in California — and a girl who’s only ever traveled out of the Western part of the United States only once — I have no clue how life on the East Coast is like. But I chose to transfer to a school so far away from home to chase after my dream. I guess it’s alright to say that not only am I excited, but I’m a bit scared too, wondering how I’m going to deal with the change.
I’ll let you all know how I adjust to the change as soon as I’m there, but for now, I’m going to focus on the transfer process I had to go through and point out some tips for those of you who are also planning on or going to transfer somewhere far away. For tips on the actual transfer application process itself, check out one of our other articles here.
First off, make sure you get all your paperwork done on time
It’s crucial to get, fill out, and/or send any paperwork your school requires of you on time and to the right place. If you’re transferring, most schools will require you to send in your college transcripts, and sometimes, even your high school transcript. If you don’t send things like these on time, holds will be placed on your account that may restrict you from registering for classes or getting your housing assignment so you definitely want to be on top of everything.
You don’t want to end up flying all the way to your new school, only to find out that you don’t have any classes or a place to stay. Also, make sure you’re sending your papers to the right department, as not all other departments will know what to do with the papers you’ve sent them. If the school says send the papers to a specific department, make sure it’s going to that department. And always make sure your school received the paperwork by certifying your mail or calling up and the school and confirming they received it.
Connect with your admissions and financial aid officer
Over the summer before you transfer in, it’s a great idea to find out who your admission and financial aid officer are, because oftentimes you’ll need to set up your class schedule and a payment plan before you start school. Once you know who they are, give them call and stay in constant touch with them to keep updated on any changes in your account. It also helps to talk with your admissions officer about your college credits transferring, and your financial aid officer on possible ways to receive more money for school.
Connect with other students who are going to your school
Facebook is a great way to meet new students who are also going to your school. You can already start making new friends, find your potential roommates, and also keep up with the social culture of your school. Universities have started using Facebook to make school/class pages that allow admissions officers and upperclassmen to connect with new students and make it easier for you to keep up with what’s necessary for your transfer and ask questions.
Plan accordingly for your move
Book your plane ticket early! Start considering what you’ll be taking with you and what you won’t, get in touch with your roommates and make sure you won’t be bringing any duplicate items, and start researching the area around your school to familiarize yourself with it. It’s always better to be prepared so start doing these things early on and don’t leave it for the last minute. It’ll just make things harder for you if you leave it until the day before you have to leave.
Whether you’re staying close by to where you live or you’re off to different state, it’s best to be on top of everything to make your transfer as easy as possible.
Do you have any tips for students moving cross country?
Photo courtesy of oisa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).