I've said it once and I'll say it again, picking a school to continue your education is one of the most difficult decisions people have to make.
Originally, I wanted to attend Harvard, and looking back, I have to laugh, not because it was impossible, but because it was a decision based solely on the name of the university (and watching Legally Blonde a couple times) and not what I wanted.
I looked into several colleges, and went on visits to Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, and Aquinas College. Long story short, I chose to attend Aquinas College for the first two years of my college career before I decided that wasn't what I really wanted anymore.
As much as I appreciated Aquinas College and what it had to offer, I felt as though I needed something different. After much consideration and many sleepless nights, I decided to transfer to Michigan State University.
Now, before you freak out about transferring universities part way through your college career, remember that all the time it takes to get where you want to go (if it's what you want to do) is worth it, whether it's an extra semester or an extra class.
Each person is different, and the courses they have taken differ drastically based on the past semesters. Sure there are some classes that won't transfer (for some of them it's a bit of a hit, but others are expected). Guess what? Credits are everywhere. Yeah, another general education class sounds like a bore, but at least it's not all of them you need to make up. I took courses knowing that there was a possibility I would need them to switch over, but for some there wasn't a choice, and I had to come to terms with that.
I'm sure you're asking, why would you put yourself in a position where you'd have to retake a class or have to take extra courses? Why not stay where you are and finish what you started, and not have to lose progress that has been made? Here's your answer:
I transferred for me, for my education, to reach my personal goals, and to do what I felt was necessary in order to get to the end result. I did not transfer to be closer to home, to be around people I know, or to go to a "party school."
MSU has my exact major, not a sort of cover. The courses I take will be more direct and focused on my career choice. There are more opportunities because the university is larger than the one I am coming from. I will be taking advantage of the different opportunities offered, while appreciating the ones I took part in during my past two years at Aquinas.
There were some benefits to going to a college close to home. College is expensive, there's no denying it. Every little bit helps, and you can save so much just from living off campus. I am now on a campus that requires either a bike or bus pass to get somewhere in a timely manner, or time in order to walk to your destination. This makes it so that I have to manage my time wisely. Getting out of bed ten minutes before class is no longer an option if I want to be there when the lecture starts.
I am a person who can't be stuck at a standstill. I need some excitement and change -- something to keep me looking forward to the next week and to encourage me to dream bigger. I am now at a university that I don't know like the back of my hand. There is mystery, and mystery has a way of getting you to look around, find the right key, and unlock the door. I have to figure out how to get to classes and how to balance my new schedule. I will hopefully be adding some sort of sport to the mix, and need to work that in, as well.
All in all, the decision to transfer was mine. It was not my friends, family, professors, or anyone else who influenced me. I chose to do this because it is in my best interest. It will help me grow as a student and as a person.
It will be different, and there will be parts about AQ that I will miss: the friends I made, the professors who made an impact on my learning, and the experiences that allowed me to grow at my home away from home.
On the other hand, there are so many things to look forward to at MSU. There are more friends to make, more professors to get to know, and more memories to be made. I am looking forward to the next two years and where they will take me. One journey has come to an end and this one is just beginning.