There are many good reasons to transfer schools.

Whether you are looking at cost, location, or just the academic experience, the school at which you start may not be the one from which you graduate.

If you are thinking about transferring, you may want to follow the advice below in order to reduce your stress.

Start Looking Early

One of the most stressful parts of transferring to a new school is the deadlines.

If you remember your original college application process, you’ll remember that there were many documents that had to be submitted and that each had a specific deadline.

When you transfer to a new college, you’ll go through a similar process, but you may well have to deal with deadlines from both schools.

As such, getting an early start on the transfer process can help to reduce your stress and ensure that you’ll actually get everything done.

While you might need to transfer quickly, it’s recommended that you start looking at requirements long before you make a solid decision to transfer.

There are some parts of the transfer process you can get done before you even decide to which school you are going to transfer. You can get copies of your transcript at any time, for example, and you can start getting information about transfer credits early on.

You can also begin to talk to your potential transfer school about the application process and about the transfer process without actually making any commitments.

Thanks to online applications, you can even complete your entire application process without submitting anything to the other school. This will allow you to start your transfer with much of the work already done.

Create a Timeline

Once you figure out where you want to go, you can start figuring out how you want to get there.

Creating a calendar of events will not only help you to stay on track, but it will also ensure that you don’t miss any important dates due to stress.

Even a simple calendar that tracks dates for applications, transcript submissions and move-outs will allow you to feel at least a bit more comfortable as you move forward.

Committing even a bit of information to paper can make transferring seem more real and help to encourage you to finish the process.

In addition to big dates, you’ll want to add must-do activities to your calendar. These activities not only include getting information from both schools, but things like campus visits, apartment searching, and buying textbooks.

Each item you add to your itinerary will help you to get a better idea of the scope of what you’re doing and allow you to avoid being rushed at the end of the process.

Your roadmap towards transferring will help you to ensure that you don’t miss something important and that you’ll be able to take things one step at a time until you are done.

Talk to Your Counselor

The counselor at your current school is going to be one of your best transfer resources.

While it might seem odd to talk to an employee of your current school about leaving your school, this is actually a part of that individual’s job. He or she has dealt with countless students who have transferred out for various reasons and often knows more about the process than the students.

If you can come to the counselor with information about what you need for your transfer, he or she should be able to help update your transfer roadmap with valuable data.

It is also a great idea to talk to an admissions counselor at the school to which you are transferring. Most larger schools tend to have counselors who work specifically with transfer students, so he or she might be able to give you information about how the transfer process typically works.

These counselors generally know which schools are problematic in terms of transferred credits and may even know workarounds that will ensure that your transfer experience is as easy as possible.

Never try to transfer to a new school without talking to an admissions counselor first.

Look at Worst Case Scenarios

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This is one of the most important parts of getting ready to transfer, even if it’s not the most pleasant. If you really want to reduce your stress throughout this process, you should have a plan in place for everything that can go wrong.

Yes, this might mean look at some fairly unpleasant alternatives but nothing beats the level of relief you’ll get from being able to handle fairly major problems without having to skip a beat.

In addition to figuring out if your credits will transfer to a new school, figure out if they will transfer to other schools in the area.

If your credits won’t transfer, figure out how much extra time (and money) it will require to move forward without the transfer.

Include in your list what you’ll need to do if you can’t transfer immediately or if you have to transfer more quickly than anticipated. The more potential issues you have covered, the less you’ll have to worry if something does happen. In a best-case scenario, though, all of this research will simply be for your peace of mind.

Transferring to a new school doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Start planning early, have a plan, and make sure you get the right information as soon as possible.

Once you’ve got that done, you can start making plans for what comes next.