From St. Petersburg to Tallahassee: Tips from a transfer student

Coming to Florida A&M as a transfer student has been very interesting thus far. Try starting school in a new city and environment as an upperclassman. Try starting your major in your junior year and asking people in your classification how to get to certain areas.

The first assumption from other students is that I must be a freshman, but I am a junior. However, to make things more interesting, I transferred to a historically black university. I had always heard about the homecoming games at FAMU, but now I get to partake in them.

Because I came to FAMU from a community college, I had to learn everything in a week, including the little things such as how to do the strolls or learning the words to the alma mater.

I have to realize that I am now a Rattler. Everything I learned at St. Petersburg College no longer matters. Everything I was, and participated in at SPC, must be transformed into the culture at FAMU.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling said about 1 in 3 students at a community or junior college will probably transfer at some point. This means 1 in 3 students must adjust to the everyday life as a student at a university. They must not look as lost walking into their major departments because even though they are new, they are still upperclassmen. I know I am not alone in this situation, which is why I thought of some tips for transfer students and how they can easily blend right in.

  1. Get involved on campus as soon as you walk through the doors.
    This way you can meet different people. The more people you know and the more activities you are involved in, the more time you have to catch up on campus life and involvement.

  2. Speak to the people you come across.
    Whenever you are standing in line, whether it is at the bookstore or the cafeteria line, introduce yourself and start a conversation. Next thing you know, you are exchanging numbers, making plans and expanding your network.

  3. Watch people who are successful in your major and see what you should be doing.
    As a transfer student, a part of you may already feel behind. People have been participating in your degree program on campus, so their names are already known. Talk to them and see what it is you can do to get a step ahead in your program.

When I first set foot at FAMU, I did feel lost. However, I knew there had to be someone else on campus in the same boat as me.

I see this opportunity as stepping into the real world because there are far more students at FAMU than SPC. That means I have to make a name for myself all over again. I can gladly say many students, faculty and staff have greeted me with open arms because out of all the colleges in America, I chose to transfer to FAMU. My goal prior to graduation is to feel like a true Rattler and make up for the two years I missed out on.