Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

Heading towards college and leaving friends, family and everything familiar behind can be tough for some eighteen-year olds in the fall. Then there is the even more courageous, those that choose to uproot later from all sorts of places to come to West Chester University: transfer students. ?A new school can be a mild to an extreme adjustment from a student’s old school.

Transfer students prepare in different ways before landing on campus. Seth Warner, a transfer student this semester, amerced himself in everything West Chester before coming. He talked to friends that attended here, wandered the website and emailed his advisor. He packed his belongings and was ready to head to his new home.

Living accommodations can be tricky for transfer students. Many transfer students wind up being placed in the Village on South Campus, which can limit communications with others. Drew Reichard, who has been at West Chester for a year now, said, “It was hard to meet people in the Village. The apartments are exceptionally nice, but it still is hard to meet people if you are new to the University.” ?

Shannon McKenna, new to the University this past fall semester, agreed the Village makes it tough to meet people; however, it encourages people to just put themselves out there. South campus can be a distant land without the shuttle bus to north campus.?

Getting from point A to be B can be a difficult task for transfer students. The shuttle can be a convenient service if one can understand how it works. Buses run every 20 minutes from various locations around campus. There is also the express bus that solely run from Wayne Hall to South Campus. “The buses were hard to get used to,” McKenna said, “But will come in time.”?

If one way streets are not enough to get hung up on, parking enforcement can be even more of a dilemma. Make sure cars ornament the correct parking passes, and meters are filled. Also, follow the street guidelines. Know when cars must be moved for street cleanings and which lot means what parking permits are valid for which parking lots.

West Chester offers over 300 clubs and organizations to get students both new and old involved. Each semester the Involvement Fair is held to help students find a club that meets their interests. If leadership is one’s niche, there is Student Government Association and Residence Hall Association along with others. Many majors offer academic clubs. Students’ voices can be heard with West Chester’s many special interest clubs including the Indo-American Association, LGBTA, the Black Student Union and College Democrats and Republicans. ?

Resources around campus can also be extremely helpful, but hard to find for new students, such as the Language Lab, Writing Center, and Health Center. The Language Lab located in Main Hall 200 can be extremely helpful to language majors, or anyone taking a language course.

When writer’s block stops the pen from hitting the paper, or a paper needs some editing help, the Writing Center can help. Friendly tutors help every level of writers solve their problems and help edit drafts. Help can be found on the second floor of the Lawrence Center. The post office is also located on the second floor of Lawrence, if a student is looking to buy a stamp or mail a package. Many new students don’t think about finding the health center until they are sick.

“I didn’t figure the health center to be in a dormitory,” Reichard said. The Health Center is located in Wayne Hall, a Residence Hall facing Rosedale Avenue, on the second floor. ?

If one is transferring in from a private school, or small university the word flex may be a foreign word. Add the term Ram Bucks and many new students may be confused while paying for food on campus. New students may not know the difference between the use of Flex and Ram Bucks.

With each meal plan comes 150 flex dollars. This money is useful if one runs out of meals, or if their meals don’t cover the price of food in the Diner or Sykes. Ram Bucks should be thought of as credit. Merchants around West Chester accept Ram Bucks such as Burrito Loco, Rita’s and Papa John’s. However, Ram Bucks are not included with meal plans, it must be added by the cardholder, or family. Visit to find a complete list of businesses that accept Ram bucks, or more additional information on the ram card. ?

When a student has had enough of buffalo chicken wraps, and Sykes pasta, it’s good to know where to turn for food, especially for those late night cravings. There may be some debate to the best pizza in West Chester, but the lines on weekends seem to prove Riggtown is the most desired pizza place. Near the front desk of each Residence Hall is a surplus of take out menus. Pizza U offers a large pizza for only $4.99 through the week, and $5.99 on weekends. Adam’s Sh#*! Faced Fries, Fried Ravioli and Jumbo Wings can be at the Residence Halls or South Campus within an hour from Culinary Deliveries.

By morning though, all that pizza and fried goodies will need to be worked off. Students can burn off calories and get buff at either Sykes’ Fitness Center or on South Campus. Often at Sykes, the gym is pretty packed. Students may sign up to use cardio equipment earlier in the day to guarantee a spot. ?

There are a few other tips to success at West Chester. Since this past semester has had a climate like Seattle, a pair of rain boots and umbrella would come in great use. It is also probably worth mentioning the sidewalks outside of campus.

Reichard offers one last tip to incoming transfer students.

“I can say I challenged myself a lot more here than I had done at my previous university,” Reichard said, “Have an idea of what you want to study when you come to West Chester. There are a plethora of majors to choose from and the faculty here will be able to help you decide what it is you want to do.” ?

These courageous students have come to West Chester, been given the information needed and are ready to succeed. “If you don’t know what you’re doing, just ask,” said Warner, “Everyone is friendly here!”

Lauren Gerba is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at

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