Transfer Student Basics: Destination Oswego

Finding your guide:

It's important to form and maintain a strong relationship with your academic advisor.  Ask questions.  What courses tend to fill?  Which are only offered in the spring and/or fall?  What courses will transfer?  Which can be waived?  What steps, if any, do you need to take to ensure you get appropriate credit?  Are there options or processes if you choose to take a summer class at home (if you're not local)?  Know what will transfer and what won't up front so there are no suprises.

Attend orientation:

Get to know the campus, how to move in, where to park, how and when to pay bills, how to register for classes and more.  Be sure you also pay attention to correspondence from the University!  Some information will sound very similar to information you knew about your previous institution.  Don't assume all colleges have the same processes, departments, etc.  You were likely successful someplace else - set yourself up for that same success at Oswego by knowing the ropes and resources.  (Do as I say, not as I do.  I ended up taking freshmen English as a senior because my AP credit didn't satisfy the requirement at my transfer institution.)

Meet the natives and fellow travelers:

Make at least one connection that you trust and to whom you can go for information.  This can be an orientation leader, transfer mentor, proffesional staff or advisor but should be a credible source for information or resource that can direct you on where to find it yourself.  It's also a good idea to take note of those you see around you - meet some fellow transfer students - you can help each other navigate moving forward.

Design your map and look at it frequently:

Map out your academic requirements.  You have a lot to accomplish and shorter time in which to do it - include important opportunities and allow time for them.  Study abroad and internships can take months to set up, and others may require special training.  Look at your plan with your advisor and be sure to revisit it frequently as your interests and needs change.  (I knew that I wanted to be a Resident Advisor when I transferred from a community college to a residential university.  I had to make sure I signed up for the course my first semester in order to make this happen or miss the opportunity altogether.)

Interact with your surroundings:

Get involved on campus!  Make sure you take note of club/organization fairs, Greek recruitment dates, and volunteer opportunities.  Add these dates to your planner.  These will not only help you to meet people and enjoy your campus experience, they can also help you learn more about new things, and open you up to leadership experiences.  They're a great outlet for things in which you interested but don't have the time or the inclination to study.  There are over 100 clubs on campus - one (or more) of them is right for you! (I was the make-up girl on a talk show in college, a regular on a game-show, and the president of the drama club.  I didn't pursue any of them as a career, but I met great people, had a good time, and learned about leadership.  I was also involved in a national Public Relations organization and the Honor Society which did help me in my career plans.)

Know your environment:

Learn about campus traditions!  Become an Oswego Laker!  Participate in sporting events and social outings and develop some school spirit!