I started my first year at UW-Madison as a Transfer Student. Having already experienced my first two years in college at MATC (Madison Area Technical College), I thought I was past the hurdle of building relationships and finding a community, however, this couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
After transferring, I made it my mission to get involved and connect with people from different backgrounds and experiences. In doing so, I have been able to learn about new communities and build friendships with unlike-minded people. In my experience, looking for opportunities within student organizations, campus jobs, and campus programs will give any new student the best chance in building relationships.
Consider Student Organizations That You’re Unfamiliar With
In my first year at UW-Madison, I joined Dreamers of UW-Madison (an organization on campus that supports and advocates for DACA/Undocumented Students). Before applying for an e-board position, I had no personal connection to the DACA or Undocumented community. As a result, I learned so much about the injustices many students face in their pursuit of higher education and felt extremely honored to learn about a variety of experiences and hardships. When browsing for involvement opportunities, I highly recommend looking into those you may be unfamiliar with…it really could change your life.
Consider Campus Jobs That Work With International and Multicultural Students
In my second year at UW-Madison, I had the opportunity to work for the Transfer Transition Program as a Transfer Student Coordinator. While supporting incoming nationwide transfer students and international students, I was able to meet people from different walks of life and learn about a wide variety of cultures and customs. I really can’t express how important this experience was for my personal development. Pushing myself to support and mentor students that did not share my experiences helped me grow as a communicator and gave me the confidence to build relationships. Based on this experience, I highly recommend finding an on-campus job that works with students from diverse backgrounds.
Consider Study Abroad Opportunities
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to study abroad, however, I’ve always seen it as an amazing opportunity for personal development. Although transferring to UW-Madison during the pandemic did hinder my ability to study abroad, I would encourage anyone looking to connect with unlike-minded people to into the program.