Commuting adds to socialization difficulties for transfer students

New Kent State transfer students socialize at the Transfer Advisory Council reception on Jan. 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of Student Success Programs.

Kelsey Paulus Reporter

When freshmen come to college, they are thrown into a pool of endless socialization and the opportunity to meet new people. When students transfer to a new school, they often miss out on early opportunities other students have at the beginning of their college career.

Last semester, Kent State had 918 transfer students, 73% of whom commute, according to the Office of Student Success Programs. 

Sophomore neuroscience and psychology double major Cassandra Keegan transferred from Lakeland Community College after her freshman year. Since she did not start her college experience at Kent State, she said it feels as if everyone already knows each other. 

“It was weird coming in and not doing DKS because I feel like everyone meets there,” Keegan said. “I felt like I didn’t have the opportunity to meet any people.” 

Keegan knew a few people before coming to Kent State, which helped her a bit. She also made a Tinder account specifically for meeting new friends.

However, transfer students who commute can find it more difficult to make friends on campus. 

“Just being a commuter student makes it very difficult to sometimes get involved,” said Barbara Miller-Harris, assistant director of Student Success Programs, said. “… commuting or trying to get into friend groups that have already been formed are two of the biggest things for transfer students to face on a new campus.” 

Different transfer students can have varying experiences with making friends on campus, said Miller-Harris; getting involved in clubs is not the only way. She also recommends going to study groups in classes, attending events, participating in community service and getting involved with research on campus. 

Taylor Frey, junior paralegal studies major, transferred to Kent State last semester from Tiffin University due to the high price and small size of the school. She commutes from Cuyahoga Falls and said commuting adds onto the difficulty of socialization due to her transfer.

 “I get there right as class is starting since I’m a commuter,” she said. “So it’s not like I have time to communicate with students beforehand.”

Frey recommends living in an apartment in Kent to be involved with events and opportunities to make friends. 

Kent State provides several resources to help transfer students. The initial program is TKS, which is essentially DKS for transfer students. Once the school year starts, newsletters are emailed to transfer students and there’s also National Transfer Student Week, during the third week in October. More information for transfer students can be found here on Kent State’s website.

Contact Kelsey Paulus at [email protected].