I’m not just a transfer student; I’m a seasoned transfer student. I’ve sat through three orientations, earned credits that rarely transfer to the new school, and only once found a place where I really succeed. I feel very lucky to have found a school that has a similar number of transfer students as it has incoming freshmen.
Here are some tips I’ve gathered over the years to have a smooth college transition and make the most of your new school:
1. Make a graduation plan It can throw you off your game to watch from the sidelines as some of your friends graduate earlier than you. In reality, it doesn’t matter if you need that extra year or two, but having a deadline in sight can really motivate you to hang in there. Go to a graduation planning session at LIM’s Academic Advising Office to set your graduation date, and plan your courses around it. When you’re trying to stuff in a missing required course or that one elective you really want to take, the Academic Advising team will make it happen.
2. Consider offseason sessions Your advisor may suggest winter or summer courses to squeeze in that Street Style class. Don’t write this suggestion off! Taking an offseason course can free up your semester for fun electives or just downtime. The course load at LIM can get intense. I came from a college where I took four courses to taking six in my first semester here. (I’m moving up to seven in the spring.) If you’re looking to graduate within a certain timeline, consider taking a couple more classes during the fall/spring or attend winter/summer sessions to help balance things out. But don’t overload yourself—everyone learns at their own pace.
3. Don’t worry you’ll be “an outsider” As a junior taking freshman-level courses, I was nervous I’d look like the odd one out and have trouble making friends. The case is just the opposite—more than a third of the LIM student body is made up of transfers. So, don’t stress about fitting in. Save that energy for your schoolwork, because you’ll probably be taking more classes than you’re used to, and managing your time will be essential. When your work is out of the way, you’ll have time to hang out with new friends.
4. Find the Financial Aid Office If you’re like me, you came to LIM with some existing education debt. LIM’s Financial Aid Office is open for appointments or walk-ins to help you understand and work through your own financial aid packet, FAFSA, and other expenses, like those out-of-pocket winter/summer courses.
5. Manage your inbox LIM sends a lot of emails. The pings may annoy you, but the content is always helpful. With my previous schools, I either received hardly any email notifications or I received way too many that were just trivial. LIM emails you about job opportunities, campus networking events, and reminders from professors about upcoming classwork. Each email has a reason for being, but this makes it really important to delete old messages since storage space isn’t unlimited! I recommend choosing one day a week to go through your inbox and clear out anything expired.
Let’s be real; there’s no time for messing around when you’re a transfer student. Setting goals, keeping on track, and being organized is the best way to succeed in this environment. You’ll still have fun, you’ll still experience more than you ever thought possible, and these will be byproducts of hard work and finding yourself in LIM’s fashion community.
About the Author Ariel Moise Kleinman is a transfer student who is currently in her junior year at LIM College. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration in Fashion Merchandising.