By Angalyse Keyock | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the fall season approaches, the northern United Stated begins to see a change in color from the leaves before they fall to the ground. However, as the fall season approaches in Florida, that is far from true.
Transferring from East Stroudsburg University in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, I was used to the chilly fall nights with pumpkin coffee, sweatshirts and a display of artwork made from trees as they transitioned into hibernation for the winter.
I’ve learned throughout the first few weeks of living in St. Augustine that fall weather is almost nonexistent. If you try to wear a sweatshirt to class, you’ll likely sweat right through it. And the palm trees are not going to change color.
Adjusting to the weather at my new home away from home here at Flagler College was not the only thing I had to adjust to when making the change.
As move-in day approached, the anticipation of actually going away became very nerve wracking to me. I had never moved before, and the fact I was moving 842 miles away on my own knowing no one scared me a little.
As classes began, clubs started to meet, the local coffee shops began to know my order and my roommate and I got passed that awkward stage, St. Augustine started to feel more like home.
If you’re a transfer student, here’s some of what I’ve found to be helpful so far:
1. Get involved:
With sports, clubs or anything that sparks your interest. Flagler has many clubs which cater to a variety of students.
Getting involved with a club is something smart to do if you are struggling to find people with the same interests as you. When you meet someone with a common interest it’s so much easier to relate to them and start a conversation.
2. Take advantage of new opportunities:
One of the first e-mails I received was from a professor about different internship opportunities in close proximity to campus. I quickly began to apply to a few that interested me, and within a week, I had interviews for one paid and one unpaid internship with a local church and sports radio station.
Applying yourself and not clicking the trash button on the e-mails professors send will be beneficial in the long run. The city we live in has so many opportunities for all majors. To not take advantage of the many opportunities will only hurt you in the future.
3. Stay in touch:
Being so far away from my hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, one of my main fears was becoming homesick to the point that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my time here.
Upon reflection, I realized there were negatives and positives to being so far from home. I miss my friends and family, but staying in touch through phone calls and sending letters and packages definitely makes the distance feel like less of an obstacle.
It’s so easy for friends to send a text to catch up, but receiving a piece of mail or a package from a loved one is kind of special. Sending your address to loved ones, and receiving something from home is one of the things I loved since school has began.
4. Remember why you came:
One night I was struggling to see the positives of being so far away. But I remembered advice to write down five positives as to why I transferred in the first place. It sounds cliché, but it is good reminder to have on days I miss home.
My positives included:
- Being by the beach.
- Having friends and family visit
- New people to meet
- Sunny weather
- New opportunities
As the seasons and leaves begin to change up north, I begin to change into a new season of my life. My transition between two different environments brings on new shades of color within me that I would have never known.
Just as the seasons change within nature, the seasons change within our lives, and I cannot wait to see where this one leads me.