By Harsh Agarwal
Psychology Major & Member of TAG
UPDATE: As of Fall 2015, the Transfer Cluster will now be located in Scott Hall which is part of the Ikenberry Commons South neighborhood.
As we transition to another school, there is so much apprehension on where to live. There’s so many questions-“Should I get a dorm the size of my room or an apartment with some friends?” “What if I get stuck with a bad roommate?” “Will I make friends?”-I was in the same boat not too long ago. Despite gaining so much at my community college and having a fruitful experience there, after hearing some of my friends’ stories and experiences, I realized that being at a community college never really gave me what so many of my friends were experiencing at their universities; “the college experience.”
When I looked at some of my housing options, I was told that there is a cluster in one of the dorms specifically designated for transfer students. I was happy when I heard this because I knew I would already have something in common with other people and it would be easy for me to relate to them and form a connection.
So I made the decision to go with university housing for the first year and I selected Hopkins in the Transfer Cluster as one of my top choices. A few weeks later I got placed in the transfer cluster! I knew that now I would experience what my friends experienced during their years in the dorms.
As everything got settled, it turned out that everyone bonded instantly and all the apprehension I felt just disappeared! We all acknowledged the fact that we were all in the same boat and everyone was willing to get to know one another. My floor mates were very friendly and greeted each other as they walked by. We would often all go have dinner together and participate in fun events. We made our own Facebook page and kept in contact with each other through group texts using an app called “Groupme.” This way, we planned out different events we could all do together, shared some jokes, and helped each other out on various assignments. As cliché as it may sound, everyone became a family.
I can definitely say that staying in the transfer cluster the first year was a wise decision on my part. I was able to network and meet so many great people with whom I plan to keep in contact with even after the year ends. This is not to say that it’s not a wise decision to not live in the dorms the first year, because everyone is different. But if you’re looking for a fresh start and willing to meet some great, new people, the transfer cluster is an excellent place to start your journey as a transfer student at Illinois!