Transferring is often thought of as taboo, once you pick your school you stay there and that's it. Most of the time people don't want to admit that they're unhappy at the school they chose while everyone else is having a great time and I think that that's the hard part. It feels like you're the reason you're not having a good time and maybe you just need to wait it out a semester. People are afraid to talk about transferring because they see it as a bad thing when in the end, it could end up being the best decision you ever make. My transfer experience was definitely a challenge, but not one that I regret at all.
It's crazy that one day you're seventeen years old and following your simple daily high school routine and the next day you're expected to choose your future. I had no idea where I wanted to go to school, what major I wanted to be in, or a career I was even remotely interested. But I chose. I didn't want to go to the community college nearby because I felt like that wasn't good enough, another taboo that people need to get rid of. Community college is completely okay and often even a better choice for most people.
So, wanting that college experience I chose a university relatively close to home because that's where I thought everyone else wanted me to go. It was known for great academics and since I didn't know what I wanted to do that it would help me decide. I moved in, joined some clubs and selected a variety of classes to try to find what I liked. Unfortunately, I was blindsided by the fact that I was a college student, free to do whatever I wanted. Everything was so new to me that I thought I loved the school when really I just loved the new experiences. Don't get me wrong, I made great memories there. I had amazing friends that kept me going when it got tough.
Once the second-semester hit and those new experiences turned into old routines, I realized that I was not in the right place. I went home every chance I had and dreaded returning to school after breaks. I didn't enjoy any of the classes I was taking and I had found a major I liked that the school didn't have. The worst part was that I saw other kids from my graduating class has a great time at different schools and even at the same school and it made me wonder if it was just me. I was scared, scared to tell my friends from home, scared to tell my friends at school, scared to tell my family, scared to make the wrong decision again, and scared to admit to myself that I wanted to go through with finding a new school.
It wasn't until late March that I truly committed to applying to other schools. If you've ever applied to college then you know that March is late for trying to get admitted for the Fall semester. My biggest mistake in it all was being afraid to tell people that I was transferring. It left me alone going through the process of finding new schools, recommendations, and applications crunched into two weeks. The good thing was that unlike high school, I now knew what I was looking for in a college and I found it. The hardest part about leaving that university was leaving my friends there, but they knew it was what's best for me and I'm grateful that they were supportive and wish I had told them sooner.
Fast forward to August and I'm moving to a new university. However, instead of being two hours from home I'm now eight hours away. The distance has definitely been one of the biggest challenges to overcome, but all the people I've met here have helped me through it. I found my major with classes that I enjoy, joined new clubs, went to sporting events, explored new hikes and even joined a sorority which is something I never thought I'd do. Being here pushed me to try new things and become a better version of myself in ways that my old school didn't. It's different for everybody.
I told myself when I got here that even if I was unhappy I would have to stay here, there wouldn't be anymore transferring. In a way, I think that motivated me to go out and make the best of the situation by becoming involved. But I realized that I was genuinely happy, staying here wasn't an obligation, it was an easy choice.
Once I arrived here I immediately felt like I was accepted into a giant family. It sounds cliche, but there was a definite moment where I kind of just sat back and took in where I was and I knew that I was exactly where I belong. If you're unhappy where you are, don't be afraid to reach out. Your parents and friends will still love you and want to support you, the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. It's okay to want to find happiness somewhere else, it's okay to transfer.