About one-third of Binghamton University’s student population is made up of transfer students, and many of those who started somewhere else enter BU as a spring-semester admit. Even with orientation, it is hard to get acclimated to the University when it seems like everyone has already hit their strides by this time of the school year. If you are one of those new students, here are some tips to kickstart the path to finding your place at BU.
— Sign up for the Transfer Student Services (TSS) emails and join the Binghamton Transfer Student Association (BTSA)
Even if you do not end up attending any of the events, the TSS office and BTSA offer a wealth of resources for those new to BU. The BTSA hosts social events for transfers in addition to events with the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, the Center for Civic Engagement and other campus offices, and it can introduce you to these sometimes intimidating resources on a smaller scale. The office can also pair you with another transfer student as a mentor to help you get acclimated to campus.
— Don’t hang out in your room (but if you do, leave the door open)
You may not have a huge group of friends at the start of the semester, but there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure you don’t feel so lonely until you do find your people. To start, try to spend your free time in social spaces on campus. BU has revamped many buildings in recent years, allowing for plenty of new places to sit, eat and do homework. These places include Jazzman’s Cafe, the Marketplace and the John Arthur Café in the Fine Arts Building, which is especially great for socializing with liberal arts majors. If you do find yourself spending time in your room, keep your door open as much as possible and try to get to know those that you are sharing a space with.
— Talk to EVERYONE at GIMs
You have probably heard the sage advice about attending various general interest meetings (GIMs) at the beginning of the semester, but few people tell you how to make the most of GIMs once you actually get to them. To start, introduce yourself to the people you sit by at the meeting. Whether they seem to have a group of friends already or not, many people at the GIM are in the same boat. GIMs level the playing field in terms of finding friends. You may not click with everyone, but even by your second GIM of the semester, you’ll find yourself a lot more confident and comfortable.
Remembering the mantra “fake it ‘til you make it” can get you pretty far out of your comfort zone by reminding you to be more confident than you feel, but the most important thing you can do as a transfer is to stay true to your interests. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not or expect to fit in right away without any effort. Instead, focus on doing things you enjoyed at your previous school and making friends that way. You’re ahead of the game for having done this whole “new college” thing before and with the right attitude, you’ll feel comfortable in your new home