First and foremost, I want to make this very clear: this is not a pity post. All I am simply doing is providing some insight on what it's like transferring in your junior year of college. It's something that is not very often talked about, yet cannot be ignored. Every time I've looked for something about transferring as a junior, I usually read a post about a community college student. Please don't get me wrong. I understand it is stressful for them too, but it's different when you leave a four-year institution you lived at, had the time of your life with friends who are like family, but ultimately had to transfer for a variety of reasons. Again this is not a post to make people feel bad and I am not looking for attention. I just want to shed light on something that does need attention.
If you couldn't tell, I am a transfer student who transferred their junior year. I have never really had an issue making friends before, but I have also never been the "new kid". Even as a freshman in college, though I was new to the school, we were all in the same boat. It took a little while to find ourselves, but eventually we figured it out. The difference? There's so much support for the transition from high school to college, rightfully so. But, as a junior, you're expected to have a grip on things because you've already been through the wringer for two years. You'll be fine they say. But, what they don't tell you is that one moment you'll be excited, the next on the brink of tears because you see the people around your school all hanging out together. You sit alone while eating your meals, longing for some attention. You see people smiling, enjoying their lives. Yeah, you may have some friends at your new school from home (which I do) but they're so busy with their lives since they've been here for two years (I really am grateful to those who have reached out and taken me under their wing. I'm a mess with you, can't imagine how I would be without you.) But, you want to branch out and meet new people. You want to become involved like you did at your old school. You're itching to get out of your room and do more than go to the gym, or go to classes, or go on your fifth walk of the day. You see your friends from your old school, or just people from your old school, posting pictures from orientation or of the campus knowing full well you would have been in their shoes if you would have stayed. It all becomes overwhelming and you lose sight of who you are. You get lost at your new school, not physically, but mentally and emotionally, trying to hold on to whatever you have left at your old school. People keep reaching out to you to make sure you're doing well and you know they care, but it's hard to express how you feel when they haven't been through it. You're caught in limbo. You don't want to go back to your old school, but you want your old school memories to follow you here. You want to have the exact same experience, but you can't. With a new school, comes new people. And new doesn't mean better or worse just different. You're grateful for the memories you have with the people you came to know as your second family, but you want that feeling immediately here because you know you would have had that feeling if you stayed. It's one of the most difficult things to do, leave a place you love out of necessity to further your education. But, you can't ignore the "what ifs" in the back of your brain. "What if I stayed?" "What if I made a mistake by coming here?" "What if I'm not cut out for this hardship in my life?" They linger there. You don't know what to make of them, so you just listen to them as they tear you apart and make you second guess everything. You kinda feel like you're at home, but also feel kinda just there. Like this place exists, but you're not really sure what to make of it. You just want these feelings to end. You know it's okay to miss your friends, but you shouldn't feel so sad and lost without them.
You hope it will all be okay and you try to think optimistically. But, it's hard when you feel so alone with so many people around you. I'm not telling this to you guys to make you feel bad. I'm telling you this because we are out there and we want to be understood.