An Open Letter to the Transfer College Student


To the nervous upperclassman on his/her first day of class at a new school,

You’re an upperclassman, you shouldn’t be nervous. At least that’s what you keep telling yourself, right? Actually, it’s okay to be nervous, maybe even scared. After all, this is your first day at a new college.

I know you because I was you. I entered my first-choice university as an eager freshman, hopes and dreams for the next four years spilling out of my ears.

There was no chance I would ever love another school that much. I chose the school and in the strangest way, the school chose me too. Transferring wasn’t on the horizon.

But things happen. Decisions are made, and sometimes, they’re not your own. Sometimes the lives of those you love become more important. And sometimes, you yourself become the most important, as it should be, even when the decisions that lead to happiness get tougher.

Transferring in college isn’t like it was in K-12. Those kids dissected you and judged you as “New Kid” the moment you sat down in the classroom. In college, you’re just you, no matter where you end up. Classes change by the semester, and as you get more into your major, you’ll recognize a few faces, but every few months, you pretty much have a clean slate.

You’re not any less of a person for having a year or two here and there. Actually, you’re better for it. You’ve learned to stand on your own and be independent in different places. You’ve adapted to the curve balls life has thrown you.

You’re comfortable with yourself, not a place, and that says something.

They say your college friends will stay with you for life, and after you transfer, you figure out who those are really quick. Sometimes it’s only one or two, but they’re the ones who will make the drive to visit you at your new school and anywhere else life might take you.

A few weeks into your first semester at your new school, you’ll realize it isn’t so bad. You’ll get connected with a couple of the same organizations you were part of at your old school, and you just might meet the love of your life in class (but that’s always the hope, isn’t it?).

Soon enough, you’ll be calling your new school home, hopes and dreams spilling out of your ears once again. But you’re wiser this time. You’ve learned how to live in the present and take what life gives you with grace.

Sometimes you’ll look around campus, thinking about how different you are from every other student. You didn’t experience this school’s freshman traditions, and you didn’t spend your first night of college in a dorm here.

But that’s the beauty of college. You are different, not just because you transferred, but because you’re the only you out there, created to do only the things you can do. As a college transfer student, the only difference between you and everyone else at your school is that you understand how important YOU are sooner.

Good luck at your new school,

Transferred and Loving It


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