From the time I began the college application process, it has never gone the way I expected it to. I applied to eleven schools but only received acceptance to two, then another later off the wait-list. My first, second, third, fourth etc. choices all said no. I was left with schools that I never really wanted, schools I had applied to on a whim based on academic reputation more than anything else. I visited the University of Chicago for their April Overnights for accepted students and at the time, I couldn't believe my luck. The school seemed so perfect, with its beautiful buildings and quirkiness. I thought I somehow lucked out when they accepted me, so I said yes.
I've written before about the reasons I don't feel like I'm meant to be at the University of Chicago, and there are certainly more articles I could write on the subject. It's really hard to enjoy your college experience when you wake up everyday wishing you were someplace else. This fall, I tried to change that by applying to transfer mid-year. It failed to yield the outcome I wanted. When I read those decisions, my first thought was "God, I'm trapped here now."
My option to transfer in the middle of this academic year is no longer possible, but I intend to apply again for fall admission. I was scared to tell people I wanted to transfer at first. Maybe I didn't want to hurt people's feelings and seem as if I wasn't grateful for their friendship throughout my time there, maybe I was scared of making a big deal of it only to have the answer be no. Regardless, I'm coming clean now. I hate the University of Chicago and I want to leave.
I'm running out of time and options to finish college the "conventional way", i.e. in four years. If I stay at the University of Chicago, I will graduate in 2019, but at huge emotional cost. Staying here and sucking it up is the more socially acceptable option. It can be difficult explaining why you may have to take time off or spend an extra semester or two at school to people who aren't aware of the nuances of my personal situation. That used to bother me. But now, I don't care anymore.
I've decided that in terms of college and my future professional life, my opinion is the most important one. There is no one way to do college. If transferring to another school two years in means that I will ultimately be more fulfilled and happy, than I'm more than happy to do so. If taking a bit of time off from schools means more mental stability, than it should be encouraged, not looked down on.
The college process has so many different paths. Mine may not end up being the most conventional, but I'm hoping that it will eventually be the right one for me.