There's No Shame In Transferring Colleges
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There's No Shame In Transferring Colleges

"Sticking it out" is not your only option.

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There's No Shame In Transferring Colleges
Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Thinking back to my senior year of high school, I remember the constant feeling of anticipation – the buzz of excitement in the halls as my classmates and I counted down the days until we finally got our diplomas. All we could talk about was the latest news of who committed to which university. Next to prom and graduation, College T-shirt Day was one of the most highly anticipated days of the school year.

It all seemed too good to be true; soon enough we would all be going our separate ways… “On to bigger and better things,” as the saying goes.

The last thing I expected was the enormous disappointment I found when I finally got to college. All of my old friends were fully immersed in challenging classes, meeting new people, joining clubs, and simply thriving on their first attempt at life beyond high school.

My reality did not resemble anything close to the fantasy “college experience” that I had imagined. I wasn’t gaining invaluable knowledge or making lifelong friends. I wasn’t getting along with my roommate, and I was hard-pressed to find anyone, aside from myself, who made a habit of remaining sober for more than four days out of the week.

I wasn’t progressing. I was just trying my hardest to survive the week so I could go home on weekends… and “home” was 200 miles away.

Searching for solace by scrolling through my social media feed only made it worse. People only broadcast what they want others to see – the fun and exciting parts of their lives, which just so happened to consist of their every move. It seemed like there was not a single person who could relate to what I was feeling. It wasn’t fair.

This is supposed to be fun, I would tell myself, you’re supposed to be learning and growing from this. Little did I know that I would learn and grow more from this experience than any other.

It became clear to me that I had made the wrong decision in choosing that school – plain and simple. Not only was it far too big of a “party school” for my liking, but also, as a business major at a university that specializes in nursing and health sciences, it wouldn’t even make sense for me to “stick it out and stay,” as I had so frequently been advised.

The complete and utter disconnection I felt toward my school is what ultimately led to my decision to transfer.

Opening up to people about my situation was difficult at first. I was ashamed more than anything. I felt like I had failed at what was supposed to have been the best four years of my life right out of the gate.

I soon found out that many of my peers were also deciding to transfer schools – some after only a few weeks of being away. It was comforting to know that I was not alone.

I am here to tell you that there is no shame in choosing to transfer from one college to another. It’s actually far more common than you might think. Let’s be honest here – can we really assume that 100% of students know exactly what they want to study and where they want to study it right out of high school? No chance.

Whether it dawns on you after your first year, first semester, or your first week, do not ignore the overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction. There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you’re unhappy with your decision. Had I not decided to leave the first university I attended, I never would have ended up at my dream school.

Everyone deserves to find the place where they belong… even if it requires making an extra stop or two along the way.

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