My best friend, Shelby Nave, is a transfer student here at IU. Transfer students don’t often get a perspective on what it’s actually like to be a transfer, and they may have many questions that are left unanswered. To help all of you out there who are interested in transferring to the BEST university in Indiana, I interviewed Shelby so that you know whether or not IU is the best place for you.
- How hard was it to transition to IU?
It was definitely an adjustment! I spent my freshman year of college at IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne), and not only is that campus way smaller, but I commuted to school every day. Now that I’m actually living on a campus and having to live on my own for the first time, it takes some getting used to! IU’s campus is huge, and I didn’t know where anything was. Plus there were more students around than I’d ever seen! It can be very intimidating at first. You’re bound to end up in a situation where you have two classes back-to-back in buildings that couldn’t be further away from each other, and you have to walk through a large crowd of people who know exactly where they’re going. Don’t worry though, you get the hang of it pretty quick! In general, the size of the campus itself was the biggest thing to get used to. It can be hard to learn not only where everything is, but also what the fastest way to get there is.
- Was anything easy about the transition?
The fact that I already had friends here at IU made my transition A LOT easier. Friends are the family you have away from home, and they’re super important when adjusting to a new environment. Plus, if you already know people who’ve been here for a while, you’ve got yourself a whole lot of tour guides! When you’re in a new place where you don’t really know where anything is, it’s really nice to have people to show you around as you’re getting used to the campus.
Another reason it was nice to have friends here before coming down was that I already had a support system. If you’re living away from home for the first time or just moving away from your friends at a different university, it’s so helpful to have friends to spend time with. I know this can be easier said than done, but if you’re coming to IU not knowing anyone, I would strongly recommend putting yourself in situations to meet new people and make friends. Getting to know your roommate(s), reaching out to people through IU’s different social medias, or joining a club are all awesome ways to meet people.
IU has a ridiculously huge amount of student organizations, the majority of which start up the first week of the semester. This IU website is a good place to start if you’re looking for something to join or to meet some awesome people. You’re bound to find a club that suits you, and everyone involved with it will share similar interests. Another way to meet new friends is to consider going Greek, and hopefully be accepted into a chapter that best suits you!
- What is the biggest difference between the previous school you went to and IU?
SIZE! I know I already talked a little about this before, but the size of IU is for sure the biggest difference. IU has a giant campus, a huge student body, and countless things to do or to be involved in. Being a bigger university, IU has a lot wider of variety in subjects of study as well as courses. This creates endless opportunities, and it allows students to explore all sorts of topics.
Student involvement is another really big difference. I’ve never seen so many students involved in so many different things! There’s also a huge difference in school spirit between my previous school and IU. It was definitely a thrill getting to go to IU football and basketball games this year, as well as to witness how into the events students are, and how exciting they can get.
- What is the best thing about IU, from a transfer student perspective?
One thing I really love is that IU really FEELS like a university. It’s the kind of thing I imagined when I pictured a college experience. Not saying that my previous school wasn’t just as much of a college as IU is, but there’s something about living on the main campus in a college town like Bloomington that has made my experience so much more enjoyable. IU is amazing. It is so beautiful, historic, and fun! Living in a college town with a whole bunch of people in the same boat as you… It’s so cool. There’s always something to go do or to see around Bloomington. Whether you’re taking part in an event on campus, adventuring around on Kirkwood, or just studying and bonding with your friends/roommates, there is always something to do. As I said before, opportunity is everywhere at IU — whether it be academic, social, or career centered — and if you take advantage of those opportunities, you absolutely will meet new people and open new doors. IU is just the epitome of the college experience.
- The worst thing?
Being a transfer student, I often times found myself being lumped in with the freshman. It makes sense to a certain extent because freshman and transfers both have to get used to a new campus, but I often had the mentality of, “okay, I may be new to Bloomington, but I’m not new to college.” There will be people who will tell you general things about going to college that you obviously already know.
- What advice, if any, would you give to students who are considering transferring?
I would say that if you’re looking for a great college experience, IU is definitely the right place. Yes, there are a lot of people here, and you’ll probably get lost once or twice, but coming here is so worth it! Have an open mind and embrace new experiences. You’ll meet a lot of people, you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll discover a lot about yourself.