Adjusting to Cornell as a Transfer Student

Blog Post

Ariel Majorczyk Ariel M.

Cornell’s vibrant campus became my new home soon after I arrived for new-student orientation. I was terrified. As a transfer student, I feared other students would already have close friends, and I would struggle adjusting to my classes. However, when we were placed into orientation groups, we had the chance to meet fellow students and ask our leader any questions. Whether it was about the intensity of courses or where the best food on campus was, my orientation leader reassured us we belonged at Cornell and would succeed. From Club Fest to speaker panels, my initial nerves began fading and quickly turned into excitement.   

While attending a resource fair, a girl approached me and complimented my sweater. Together, we explored the fair and crossed paths with two other students. Little did I know that they would soon become my best friends. As I navigated classes, I learned how approachable and conversational Cornell students are. I was surprised at how welcoming people were and eager to share their own Cornell stories while asking about my transfer adjustment and experience.   

Finding Community  

I was amazed at Cornell’s endless opportunities and robust support systems for personal, professional, and academic passions. Club Fest, in particular, embodied Cornell’s boundless potential to explore new areas of interest. From the Bee Club to the Coffee Club, you are destined to discover a new hobby or advance in your current ones. Witnessing students’ passion and commitment to various organizations inspired me to step out of my comfort zone. I aspired to become involved in clubs that would immerse me in various communities, and I am delighted to be part of Forte, The Women’s Network, Big Red Buddies, REACH, and Block and Bridle, connecting me with like-minded peers.  

Utilizing Resources  

At Cornell, there is an abundance of resources to address any question or concern. Every staff member I have contacted has been remarkably helpful and supportive in connecting me with the right resources. As an ILRie, I highly recommend students visit the ILR Office of Career Services! They offer many professional development services, such as interview prep, resume reviews, career interest exploration, and more. The drop-in workshops they host throughout the semester have been transformative to my professional development, providing invaluable assistance when applying for internships.   

Paving Your Path  

One of the most beautiful aspects of Cornell is the freedom it provides for crafting your academic journey, along with the expert guidance you will receive on maximizing your time here. As a transfer with a previous focus on Psychology, I was still determining whether my Cornell experience would mainly entail catching up on core courses and fulfilling academic requirements. However, once you establish a sustainable academic routine, you will realize there is plenty of time to explore and engage in extracurricular activities. Cornell hosts campus-wide events almost daily that I strongly encourage you to attend. It is a great way to meet other students, do a fun activity, or treat yourself to something sweet! Regardless of what you do while at Cornell, you will be surrounded by a supportive community that genuinely cares about you and is invested in your success.  

Embracing the Unknown  

Feeling nervous to enter Cornell as a first-year student or a transfer is perfectly natural. But trust me, every moment of uncertainty or doubt will be overshadowed by the unique, life-changing experience you will have. Whether you come to Cornell at the start of your academic journey or later, you will have the time and space to dive into fascinating courses, form life-long connections, explore the breathtaking campus and greater Ithaca area, and, most importantly, discover your authentic self.