Inside NU’s Transfer Student Life

Megan Baumgarten, Psychology, COS ’23

Deciding to transfer universities was both the most exciting, and scariest, thing I have done since starting college. When I decided to transfer to Northeastern University, the easiest part was finalizing the switch. It became an uphill battle when I started to realize I would have to find my own housing, figure out my status as a second year, learn where things were on campus, and make my own friends (ahh!). I would be leaving what I had just gotten comfortable with all the behind. That being said, some of the scariest moments in your life will always be worth it. Northeastern University has always been worth it. 

How I Made Friends

Transfer students to Northeastern University seem rare, but they are all around. Going into my first year at Northeastern I attended a one credit course that held all other transfer students, which is where I began to meet some of the first friendly faces on campus. One of my biggest anxieties was how I would make friends or a community at Northeastern. The university I had attended previously was much smaller than Northeastern, and it was daunting to think about how I would cultivate friendships like the ones I had at my last institution. I looked to the only thing I could think of: clubs. Northeastern University has so many clubs to choose from, it was easy enough to get involved with whatever I wanted. 

The Fall Student Involvement Fair was by far the most helpful in this process. I remember going up to almost every table that felt somewhat of an interest and putting down my email. Even if I found myself not having enough time, or having conflicting meeting times, it was easier than not being involved at all. I knew the biggest way I wanted to get involved was through Greek Life. I began the formal recruitment process one weekend in September and have happily been a part of my sorority since. Joining Greek Life as a transfer student was the biggest and best way I could have met so many wonderful people!

It wasn’t just Greek Life that introduced me to so many friendly people; I also got involved in other ways! I joined Survivor Northeastern for a semester, I recently have been a member of CHAARG, and I tried my best to attend whatever social events Northeastern University had to offer (going to talks, information sessions, etcetera). It was a lot easier than I expected to make friends and build a community around me at Northeastern University because everyone on campus is so friendly and welcoming! 

Transition Troubles

I’m not going to sit here and write to you to tell you that it was all sunshine and daisies. Transitioning into anything new is a little hard, and awkward. There are going to be hiccups, but as a student I learned to just roll with the punches. At first, I found myself feeling very lonely because it was the start of the semester and I didn’t know anyone. But that changed very quickly. I also lived off campus generally pretty far, and felt isolated (at first) from campus overall. But I learned that being by yourself isn’t always a bad thing, and isolation from campus wasn’t necessarily a bad thing either. This was how a lot of my independence came in, and now as a third year I am very grateful for those transitioning troubles I experienced. 

Overall, the transfer process was smoother than I expected, and I couldn’t have asked for a better community to come into. Being a transfer student is an identity that I have that I love, and I love meeting other transfer students who experienced similar things to me. There are so many resources available to transfer students, incoming freshmen, and all the in between, that I couldn’t be more grateful for!

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