Transferring from a community college to a massive public university like UW-Madison may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The the shift in culture, community, and environment will likely feel jarring, but there are ways for you to plan ahead to ensure your UW experience matches your expectations. Here are some things to consider in the months leading up to your first semester at UW.
It may feel like a requirement to attend college these days, but make sure you know why YOU are pursuing a college degree. Transferring from community college to a four year university is the right path for a lot of people—if it is for you, make sure you understand why it’s the right path.
You’ll also want to think about what UW specifically has to offer you. Are you interested in pursing research? Living in dorms? Expanding the subjects you study? Meeting people very different from you? As a large public research university, UW-Madison can provide a lot of unique experiences not found elsewhere. Before classes begin, take the time to think about your goals, objectives, and desired experience at UW.
Another to consider in the months leading up to your transfer is what your values are. Defining your values can clarify the goals you’ve already identified. It can also make it easier for you to integrate or delineate your personal and professional goals. If you value learning and education, perhaps you may want to start thinking about grad school. If you value outdoor recreation, think about how you plan to balance classwork with extracurricular activities. Check out this worksheet for identifying your values, found on Carnegie Mellon University’s website.
The pre-college transition period may feel like a waiting game, a frenzy to prepare, or both. Introspection and planning the less concrete aspects of your future at UW may fall by the wayside if you don’t prioritize them.