Transferring universities can be an exciting experience, but can also be awkward and confusing.
Some students step onto the UVM campus, look around and immediately feel the need to cover everything they own in quirky stickers, buy some Birkenstocks and throw on a Patagonia fleece.
Others are just trying to go into their first year at UVM with optimistic attitudes after having a lackluster experience at their previous university.
Sophomore Aysha Bovat Clark, who came from Castleton University, transferred because she “wanted to be at a bigger university with more diversity and have the opportunity to meet new people,” she said.
Some students transfer simply because UVM is a better fit for their academic paths.
“I transferred because as a biology major I felt it would be more beneficial to go to UVM because the hospital is right on campus,” said sophomore Alice Osiecki, a transfer student from the University of New Hampshire.
Being a transfer student puts you into a weird limbo between being a first-year and being an upperclassman.
You aren’t technically a first-year, but it’s also your first year at UVM. You’ve been to a year or two of college, you just haven’t been to this college.
Many students feel very confused and lost when they transfer and may doubt their choice to leave their previous university.
However, this feeling is somewhat inevitable.
Transfer students don’t get the benefit of a grand orientation to show them the ropes and they can’t excuse their misunderstandings caused by their first-year status.
One thing that can make transfer students feel like outsiders at UVM is not understanding the lingo.
Whether it’s the “Fishbowl,” the “Grundle” or the “Gut,” it can sometimes feel like people are speaking a different language.
“The Grundle for sure confused me,” sophomore Cristen Braun said. “I ended up asking a friend what she kept talking about a couple weeks into the semester.”
The “Grundle” is the UVM nickname for the Harris Millis Dining Hall. It is unquestionably confusing as when you hear the word “grundle,” the first thing that comes to mind isn’t a dining hall.
“When I first came to UVM, I had no idea what the “Fishbowl’ was and I thought people were joking when they said ‘let’s meet in the Fishbowl,’” Clark said.
The window-lined Mansfield room on the second floor of the Davis Center, also known as the “Fishbowl,” is one of the most popular spots on the UVM campus to grab a bite to eat with a bit of homework.
The lack of that iconic first year orientation for transfer students can make it difficult for them to find a solid group of friends.
“I found a welcoming group of friends through rushing and joining a sorority,” Clark said.
If a sorority or a fraternity isn’t your scene, Clark also said that she met a lot of great people at her on campus job.
The transfer student experience has both its highs and lows, but those who transfer hope to find their new home here at UVM.