’19
Cory
Midlothian, VA
Rhetoric and Gender Studies

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Saturday Night Live, Existentialism, Political theory, McSweeney's, Beyonce, & The New Yorker

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4 things I learned as a transfer student

November 3, 2017

How did I end up at University of Richmond?

About two years ago, I was midway through my freshman year, and decided to transfer schools.

Transferring seemed like it was a daunting process, and it was. Going through two cycles of college applications can seem intimidating. The decision to transfer colleges is a difficult one.

Yet in the end, transferring can be totally worth it when you find a place that feels like home. And for me, that place is Richmond.

It's been almost two years after I started on transfer applications, and it all seems like a far off memory. As I move into the middle of my junior year, it seems appropriate to have a throwback to my first days on campus. I decided to team up for this post with a friend, Amber, a recent transfer into University of Richmond. Between our two perspectives, I hope you’ll get an idea of what the transfer experience is like at Richmond!

1. Orientation

New faces. New information. New campus. Orientation can feel like a blur. After finishing my week of orientation, I felt more than prepared to tackle my first year at University of Richmond. I came out of orientation with close friends, a better understanding of UR, and a Hitchhikers Guide to the Dining Hall. 

“Orientation was very helpful,” Amber told me, describing how the program introduced her to the campus and many new students. Transfer students are part of their own orientation group, creating an opportunity for bonding over shared experiences. 

As part of the orientation experience, transfer students are part of activities geared specifically towards them — I attended a transfer dinner, and Amber spent one afternoon on the ropes course. These activities (and many more) were tailored to our experiences, and showed that Richmond was excited to make transfer students feel at home.  

Feeling at home also means meeting new people. During one of my first trips to the dining hall, I complimented someone’s cool water bottle which lead me to meet my friend Alexis. We now make vegan pancakes together. And when I sat down for my first icebreaker activity at UR, little did I know that I’d be sitting down next to my new best friend. Making these connections made me feel like I belonged here right way. 

I think Amber puts it best: “I will always remember my first few weeks at the University of Richmond… cherish every moment!”

View

I think a key part of orientation is figuring out the best locations for Instagram photos.

2. Adjusting

As I headed out of orientation week and into classes, I was a little tired.

In the midst of a busy schedule, I found that it was important to carve out some space for myself to adjust. It was fun to do some things on my own — find new places, experience different things, and break out of the routine.

Going through the transfer process is a whirlwind, and starting the new school year is also a whirlwind. Finding space to take a step back is important. After spending time at a different institution and getting used to it, it can be a little difficult to have everything change. In my case, transferring out of my institution meant leaving behind a solid friend group, mentors, and my committed relationship to the dining hall salad bar.

When I talked with Amber about her thoughts, she mentioned that the process was was a little challenging when it came to “getting adjusted to a new school, really figuring out the events, traditions, and different insights on campus.”

University of Richmond provides a lot of resources for transfer students to get adjusted to their new environment. When I began my sophomore year at Richmond, I immediately found myself included by faculty, staff, and other students. I found space for my personal adjustment and the time to catch up with myself.

In the midst of creating new routines, incorporating new resources into life, or making friends, don’t forget about you!

Columbarium

One of my favorite spots to get away from everything: the Columbarium. It's an enclosed garden, next to the Cannon Memorial Chapel.

3. Getting involved

Before I transferred to Richmond, some of my friends (University of Richmond alums) encouraged me to start thinking about what I would want to be involved in as a Richmond student. They had spent their time at Richmond heavily involved with campus life, and were excited to see me have the same experiences.

When I caught up with Amber towards the beginning of her first semester, she had already joined the mock trial team, started work at a campus job, became a cabinet member, was involved in a civic engagement group, and had internship plans lined up at the General Assembly.

Like Amber, I also became involved in a number of organizations and causes in my first semester. A year later, my involvement is a very meaningful part of my life. I’ve had the chance to become involved in leadership, deepen my relationships with faculty mentors, and develop networks. Getting involved at University of Richmond isn’t difficult, you just have to take the first steps!

It might be hard or feel intimidating to leave your campus involvements behind when you transfer, but know that University of Richmond is an involved campus waiting for you to jump in! 

4. Looking forward

“Time goes by quickly,” Amber told me, only a month into her first semester on campus.

I can’t agree more.

Don’t feel that being a transfer will be limiting! You might have to prioritize your goals a earlier than others, but nothing stands in the way of you exploring what the University has to offer. You have the same opportunities, like accessing your Richmond guarantee. You can study abroad, like my best friend, who is tragically leaving me for Russia next semester.

The University has so many opportunities for you to explore. And as a transfer, I get the fun challenge of squeezing four years of Richmond experiences into two or three years. And so far, it's been totally worth it.

Transferring is not something to be afraid of. Being a transfer has helped me in many ways — I’ve learned how to adapt to new situations, identify resources, explore opportunities, and build new friendships. I have gained a diverse set of experiences which I would never want to trade. 

While I do wish I had more time at the University of Richmond, being a transfer has given me so much more to love about this school. Coming into a new school with my eyes wide open, I’ve learned just how much this campus values and cares for its students individually. I’ve found what I needed in a school.

Carrie

I had to wonder, was transferring the new frontier?

Thinking about transferring institutions? I hope you’ll apply to become a Spider!

—Cory, class of 2019

Hey Spiders! My name is Cory, and I’m a sophomore and transfer student. I’m a double major in Rhetoric and Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuaity Studies. My goal in life is to one day work at Olivia Pope & Associates, or at least work in crisis management or public relations. I grew up between Florida, Colorado, and Virginia, and similar to Cady Heron in Mean Girls, I was homeschooled. I love traveling, shopping at Target, spending time with my cat (named Soren Kittegaard), attempting to keep up with the Kardashians, reading Albert Camus, and hanging out with friends. Keep an eye out for some posts specifically about the transfer life! Sneak peek: so far it’s been fantastic.


Why UR?

I didn’t really get connected to University of Richmond until I was a freshman in college. I met some amazing alumni and visited the campus and honestly fell in love with everything about Richmond. Michael Scott once said in The Office, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne Gretzky,” and I knew that I had to take a shot and apply as a transfer student. I’m thrilled to be a Spider, to be at a university that feels like home, and to conquer my arachnophobia for once and for all.