Earlier this year, I wrote a piece on Odyssey about how I came to the decision to transfer schools. The emphasis was on not second-guessing yourself, and following your dreams.
I had only been at my new college for two months at that point, and I wanted to write a longer piece about my first year that can give hope to people who are transferring or thinking about transferring this upcoming semester. I hope that whoever reads this feels less alone in their thoughts.
One year ago, I was at the lowest point in my life. I had an issue that I find most college students have: I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. So, I packed up my entire life at my small university that was thirty minutes away from my hometown, and transferred to the University of Central Florida, the biggest college in the country, three hours away.
I switched from Architecture to Animation. I was always the kid drawing in the back of the class and had fantasized about being an animator. However, when I was originally pondering majors, I had misgivings over how sustainable an art degree would be.
There were doubts in the back of my head, like I was abandoning all of my friends in South Florida and maybe all I would be getting was a change of scenery. Regardless, I went into this year feeling optimistic, like I was finally vanquishing all the self-doubt that plagued me my first two years of college and was finally taking a hold of my life.
Since then, there have been days when I've regretted my decision. There was an adjustment period. During that time, there were days that I was anxious, and there were days that have been lonely. There were days where I missed my friends and I thought I may have made the wrong choice. I had these thoughts more in the beginning.
There times of confusion, too. Not every college's rules are the same. I saw my advisor at least five times this semester and definitely fumbled some deadlines in the transfer process. I didn't know the inside jokes or pro-tips about UCF that I knew about my old school, Florida Atlantic University.
There have been changes too. I'm not the person I was when I came here. I am better.
I'm more confident, more loving, and more grateful.
I'm more confident because it feels things are finally going my way. My GPA is much better now that I'm doing something I love. I embrace the future, instead of fear it. When you choose something that's not right for you, you rob yourself of putting forth your best work. This summer, I'm starting my first internship, and I'm studying abroad. My new schedule has allowed me to pick up the time to learn a new language and see a new place, and I'm starting to lay out a plan for my future.
I'm also blessed to have gotten involved with Odyssey. Getting involved is so important your transfer year. This community has always been supportive of me and has answered any questions I've had about the school. The ability to publish my writing and produce work I'm proud of has been an amazing gift.
I'm more loving and more grateful. Being away from your friends and family will make you realize how important they are in your life. I've definitely needed to put more effort into maintaining my friendships now that I'm gone, but it has been worth it. I now see that my fear of my friends moving on from me, or not keeping in touch was unfounded. This upcoming semester, I'm moving in with my very best friends at my new college, and I couldn't be more excited.
Not every transfer story is a success one like mine. However, even if your first year at a new school does not work out, you made a pro-active choice to change your life when it wasn't right, and that's a decision you can always be proud of.
I don't think I'll ever have another day where I regret transferring schools, and I wish the same blessings to anyone else who does.