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How do Transfer Athletes Find Their Place on Their New Team?

Being a transfer student is hard, no doubt about it, and being an athlete definitely adds another layer to the experience. How do you know if you will fit in with your new team? I got incredibly lucky with my experience, but I did have concerns. Would I find friends on a team that was already so established? I was lucky enough to be trying out with an incredible group of girls who are now my best friends. 

I was happy to discover that my fellow transfer athletes had equally positive experiences. Jeff Kirkwood, Skidmore Hockey class of ‘20, describes his transfer experience. “I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, moving to a school with better academics and athletics. Luckily the guys on the team were very welcoming and made the social adjustment easy. My biggest obstacle was finding my identity as a player since I wasn’t playing the same role as the team at my previous school. It took me some time to find my place on the team from an athletic standpoint.” 

Another hockey player, Quincy Gregg, shares his experience with transferring from Skidmore to Wesleyan. He shared many of the same fears as Jeff and I, would such an established team accept him? Quincy shared his initial concerns with me and how his team quickly squashed those. “I stepped into a program and class that had two years under their belt in terms of friendship and chemistry. Initially, I was nervous that they wouldn’t accept me into the family right away, but they made it more than comfortable for me as soon as I stepped on campus as if I was there since freshman year. From there, my friends became brothers, and I felt the pressure of transferring fall off my shoulders.” 

Being a transfer student is most certainly a challenge, but if you’re anything like my fellow transfer athletes and me, it will be the best decision of your life, and your concerns about acceptance won’t last long. My biggest piece of advice is to embrace your role on your new team, be open-minded, and use your teammates as a resource because, at the end of the day, they’re family, and they want to help you find your place and be successful. 

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