UB’s Transfer Tuesdays program helps students adjust to new school
Jesse Moses, a junior international studies major, had to learn how to adjust to a campus of almost 30,000 students after leaving a school with half as many.
The Transfer Peer Mentor Program, also known as “Transfer Tuesdays,” helped Moses adjust to the nerve-wracking first few days of figuring out the large campus and creating new friendships. The program, created in the fall of 2014 by the Orientation, Transfer and Parent Programs, pairs new transfer students with transfer students, known as mentors, at a casual meeting on the first Tuesday of every month.
“My first day at UB was somewhat overwhelming,” Moses said. “The campus is so large that finding my way around and learning what resources are in each building was rather daunting – and that doesn't even cover navigating the Stampede.”
Moses transferred from Monroe Community College in Rochester, a school with more than 15,000 students.
When Moses heard about the program during the first week of orientation at the Transfer Tuesdays stand, she did not hesitate to sign up.
The first Tuesday of every month, Lindsey Lambert, the coordinator of Transfer Tuesdays and a graduate student in the Student Affairs Master’s program, holds an informal mix and mingle event for transfer students to connect with one another, meet with their mentors and have their questions answered.
“There are snacks, music and prizes,” Lambert said. “It’s a great opportunity to take a break during your week and hang out with other students who understand the transfer experience just like you.”
For example, during one Transfer Tuesday session, mentors presented ways in which students could reduce their stress for upcoming finals by reducing their coffee intake, joining yoga classes on campus and taking breaks between studying.
Moses said Transfer Tuesdays helped ease her transition to UB, has helped welcome her into the new school and provided ways for her to meet new friends.
“No matter where I go, I always run into at least one person I know,” Moses said. “It makes UB feel like home.”
For Moses, being part of the program has helped her feel more comfortable at UB, providing information about the campus, answering any transfer questions she may have and she’s developed a strong friendship with her mentor, Ashley Scott.
“Jesse is the best,” said Scott, a senior sociology major. “I consider her one of my very close friends that I’ve made here at UB and truly cherish her friendship. She is going to change the world someday.”
Scott and Moses were paired when Moses signed up to the program on the UBLinked website. To pair students, Lambert utilizes common academic and extracurricular interests.
Eric Niles, a senior economics major, sais he wished this program was present at the time he transferred to UB from Union College in Schenectady, near Albany, New York.
“I do think being a mentor is rewarding because I really wish I had one coming here,” Niles said. “I try my best to ease the troubles and offer help to people who may not know as much especially because I don't want them to learn the way I did, the hard way.”
For Niles, adjusting to the large classes, finding ways to make new friends and transferring credits were complicated for him.
“There were points that I just had to ask people how to do several things to fix what I originally did because I didn't know how to do them correctly the first time,” Niles said. “Having a mentor would have definitely helped.”
This program has helped new transfer students such as Moses discover more about the campus, events and students, information that all incoming transfers could use to become accustomed to the large university.
“Connecting with [Transfer Tuesdays] has helped me join in on some of the quintessential UB experiences – attending football games and cheering in the True Blue section, for example,” Moses said. “It has also given me many little tips along the way, from the best places to eat or where to find a quiet place to study to what free events are coming up and how to get around on the Stampede.”
The Transfer Tuesday group meets the first Tuesday of every month. The next meeting is scheduled for March 3 at 3:30 p.m. in 240 Student Union. There will be games, snacks and discussions among fellow classmates who share this similar transfer experience.