While first year students often come to orientation and enter classes with thousands of other students their own age, transfer students can vary in age and education level, sometimes making it difficult to meet others with similar interests. Fortunately, App State has a range of resources meant to help both incoming and continuing transfer students.
The most recent records for App State show that of the school’s student body of over 18,000, nearly 4,500 of them are transfer students. A quarter of the student population did not start their academic career at App and 8 percent of students came into their first semester at App this fall.
Hunter Bonnema, a senior management major and Transfer Student Organization president, said she recommends students to get involved in on campus organizations to help avoid what she calls “transfer shock,” or difficulties students have adjusting to a new environment and higher workload.
Bonnema said she plans social events for transfer students throughout the year, ranging from white-water rafting trips to tailgates at home football games.
David Perry, a senior computer information systems major, said he transferred in the fall of 2016 and was initially daunted by the transfer process before joining TSO and Transfer Student Mentors.
Through TSO, David said he was able to find a community with other transfer students who understand the unique problems he faces.
David now passes along the help he received as a Transfer Student Mentor by asking transfer students if he can help them with anything. He said he usually refers transfer students to TSO or sets them up with clubs they might be interested in.
Eileen Dixon, a sophomore theater arts major who transferred from a much smaller school, said the hardest part of transitioning was meeting new people.
“I love to meet people, but it’s very daunting when you come into a town with this many people,” Dixon said.
She said she has met a lot of people and stepped out of her comfort zone through social events held by TSO and joining the theater department.
In addition to its social clubs, App State has other groups oriented to transfer students such as the Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society and the Creative Writing Transfer Group, as well as a staff of faculty that work solely with transfer students.
“There is always that open door,” Bonnema said. “Just because you didn’t show up to that first club meeting doesn’t mean that you can’t show up to one at the end of the semester, the end of the year.”
Story by; Dylan Austin, Intern News Reporter