Safety Advice for Transfer Students

Transferring from one school to another can be quite stressful. I know, I’ve been there. Not only are the people different, but everything else is also different. Your housing situation, the classes, which credits transfer, which credits don’t; not to mention you don’t know any of your professors. But with all the change there is also a little comfort in knowing this too: all universities follow the same general guidelines.

You will go to class; you will live with roommates. Textbooks will be expensive and you   will probably have a difficult time finding parking every morning. And yes, you will make friends and survive.

However, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:

1.) Have a list of who you need to call. Different schools have different protocols, and if an issue required you to call your RA at your last school, it might require you to call the front desk or even campus security at your new school. Understand who you need to call and for what reasons.

2.) Sign up for classes ASAP. Signing up for classes as soon as possible won’t just ensure you’ll get the best professors (research them at and if one professor’s class is filling up fast while another has only one or two students, it’s a good sign as to who is the more desirable professor), but it will also ensure you a safer class schedule. A class that gets done at 2:00 in the afternoon is generally much safer than a class that gets done at 9:00 at night, especially if the shuttles have stopped running and you have to walk home alone…in the dark.

3.) Do a test run. Get your schedule (make sure you’re actually in the classes you think you are) and walk around campus the day before finding each building and classroom. The last thing you want to be doing is scrambling around an unfamiliar campus trying to find a class you think you’re registered for. Plus, it’s important that you know the best routes to take to specific classes. If you have a night class, for example, you don’t want to be wandering around campus in the dark. Find a well-lit, often used path and stick to it.

4.) Live on campus. I know, I know, I’ve been preaching that the benefits of living off-campus greatly outweigh those of living on-campus (and I still stand by that opinion), but as far as safety goes, on-campus is the way to go. Everything you need is either within walking distance or even located in the same building. I’ve lived in dorms that have laundry facilities, computer labs, the bookstore and the cafeteria all in the same building. Plus, it’s easier to make friends when you’re surrounded by new people in the same situation, meaning there’s a less of chance of walking alone if you do have to go anywhere. Many universities also have dorm specifically for transfer students, which means if you’re 22 and transferring, you don’t have to worry about living with a bunch of 19 year olds begging you to buy them alcohol.

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