The truth about transferring

Advice to transfer students, from a transfer student

For those of us who arrive at Hokie Nation late in our college careers, it's easy to feel like we've missed out on a large part of the campus experience. But it doesn't have to be that way. Transfer students are just as much a part of Tech life as those who come as freshmen. Here are a few ways to really make Virginia Tech feel like home.

Go to a game

Our football games are a religious experience. You will never feel more like a Hokie than when "Enter Sandman" plays and you have to grab the shoulders of the person in front of you to keep from falling off the bleachers as you jump. You don't like football? We have two marching bands! You don't want to pay to get in? Try the student lottery! And if you need any more convincing, just know that we still have Frank Beamer.

Check out some clubs

You don't even have to join! Go to a few interest meetings, meet a few people, and bail on anything you think is going to add more stress. Find something you like? Even better! Becoming part of a club is the fastest way to get plugged in to campus life. Gobbler Fest is a great place to find organizations, but if you missed this year's don't worry. GobblerConnect was just revamped, so now it's actually a functioning, usable tool!

Spend time on campus

Have you ever been to the Duck Pond? The Pylons? Have you found your favorite dining hall? Do you know where you're going to nap in between classes? If not – or even if you do – take some time to get comfy on campus. Knowing where all your classroom buildings are can take a lot of pressure off, so set aside a day figuring out where you'll be spending your semester.

Visit your advisor

If you're new, the last thing you want is school stress, so give yourself time to settle into your routine and get accustomed to the area. Your advisor is here to help get you set up. Let them do their job.

Beware the parking violations

VT police are relentless and unless you are very careful you're going to get a ticket at some point during your time at Tech. Depending on who you ask, parking passes can be worth the $290 a pop, but if you don't have one just remember: you can't park on the Drillfield before 7 PM, and parking is free any day after 5 PM and on Sundays. Or better yet, take the bus.

Learn the bus routes

Blacksburg Transit is a great way to avoid those tickets. True, you don't have to pay for gas or stress about parking, but there are still some downsides. The BT app is completely unreliable and the buses aren't always on time. If you have a test, plan on catching an earlier bus to avoid the mad dash to class.

So yes, your time at Tech might be shorter than the typical four years, but you'll hit your stride faster than you think. Long before you don your cap and gown, you'll be a full fledged Hokie, ready to pass your wisdom down to the next transfer student.

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