When I got accepted into my current college, I at first felt an overwhelming sense of dread. I knew, in the end, it would turn out to be the most "smart" option due to in-state tuition. I was stuck at a regional campus and as a commuter student my first semester. It didn't feel much different than high school, and I often felt isolated and upset because I worked so many hours a week and struggled to make friends.
Eventually, the feelings tanked for some time as I moved to my university's main campus and began priding myself for being there. I thought being there would give me the time of my life and that I'd make friends and feel as though I really fit in – but it never happened.
Effort after effort, it became increasingly harder to navigate such a big campus with so many students and it started affecting my performance, my sleep, and overall my emotional and mental wellbeing. I overwhelmed myself with clubs, activities, and a heavy course load in order to find ways for me to avoid my feelings and see if they subside but my efforts were futile. At the end of the day, the feeling that something was missing and that I didn't belong there remained.
As I near the end of the semester, my feelings, rather than subsiding I see are reaching a breaking point, and have finally led me to understand that ultimately my mental health and emotional wellbeing should be championed. I had a job, took seven classes, and spearheaded clubs and organizations on campus in hopes that it would distract me from how I really feel. In turn, I discovered that nothing I hoped for even came close to happening.
The truth that I have struggled to admit to myself is this: I don't like living in the middle of nowhere. I like vibrant cities and pretty weather, and I like a sense of community as opposed to a large school with an enormous campus. I like weather where I can go out and enjoy myself rather than be so cold that by the time I make it back to my dorm I can barely feel my fingers.
My advice to anyone who is on the fence about transferring is: don't hesitate much. If you are unhappy, the likelihood of those feelings changing is low. If you feel that you don't belong, it might not change regardless of how many people you meet and how many activities you immerse yourself in. Your mental health and emotional well-being is priceless. Don't sacrifice it more than you should.