University life is much different than community college. It can be difficult to adjust, especially considering students have to reestablish themselves all over again on a bigger campus. All this considered, many transfer students have found the transition to Mississippi State University to be smooth.

Finding people to connect with is easier than it seems. By joining various organizations, it is more likely to find people with similar personalities and interests by joining clubs which align with one self’s personal interests. Transfer students should go to every interest meeting of an organization in order to find out what intrigues them.

Taylor McKnight, a senior international business major, said she transferred from Itawamba Community College.

“Make sure to stay involved by joining associations on campus, Greek life and honor societies. Being involved not only makes the adjustment easier but also gives you an outlet of people to rely on,” McKnight said.

There is even a club organization tailored towards transfer students called Transfer Student Association. Here, transfer students can meet one another and receive aid in the adjustment process. The organization also holds many social events like ice cream socials and works closely with transfers in any way that will help ease their transition to MSU.

According to the TSA, their main focus is to aid transfer students in transitioning to university life.

“We strive to create social connectedness, academic growth, and leadership,” states the TSA website.

Additionally, another tip is to talk to people in class, especially classes which apply most directly to one’s major. Not only will they have similar interests, but it is much easier to thrive in the class when students can rely upon each other to complete homework and study.

Courses at a university are more rigorous than community college classes. Many community colleges do not fully prepare transfer students for the amount of homework and exams that are nothing like the lecture.

As a result, it is important to not only show up to class for the attendance grade, but it is even more important to be attentive. Do whatever is necessary to pay attention and keep thorough notes to fully absorb the information given.

Even if the class seems as if it is a waste of time, each course is put in students’ CAAP compliances for a specific reason. Students should trust the university to give them a good education by completely participating in it. Students can view the course requirements easily through Banner, found through a student’s MyState portal.

There is a whole world of resources available to all students on Banner. In this online resource, students can see what they still need to complete their degree under the link “CAAP Compliances.”

There is a spot to view class ranking, branch of college curriculum and specific major. Banner has places where students can apply for their degree, obtain a “Good Student” document for insurance discounts and access the course catalog. It is a good idea to play around with this tool and get familiar with it.

There are many other great services the university provides, such as the Career Center, Student Health Services, the Writing Center, Counseling services and many more.

Make sure to take as many available handouts as possible during Orientation. Even though it may seem silly, there is a multitude of information given during this valuable time.

Take a break from rigorous coursework by taking electives. No matter how many classes a student has already taken, they should not forget to choose a fun elective. Students should take philosophy, sociology, entrepreneurship, painting—anything which will allow time to study something enjoyable and possibly even outside the realm of their major.

Considering the wide variety of classes offered here at MSU, take the time to explore all subjects to work towards being a well-rounded citizen. Try to take as many classes as one’s schedule allows, but students should avoid overextending themselves.

Committing to too many activities will burn students out, so prioritizing the important aspects is vital. Make sure to have moments to breathe and de-stress.

Joanna Stevens, a senior biomedical engineering major who transferred from Hinds Community College, emphasizes the importance of staying balanced.

“My advice for incoming transfer students would be to make sure you stay organized. Due dates and events come and go very quickly, and you can miss things that are really important,” Stevens said. “Balancing a schedule is extremely crucial.”

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