Freshman year of college is when you walk into your new dorm room, fresh faced, ready for the world with a preconceived notion of what the next four years are supposed to be like for you. You probably gave it your best shot, tried everything to make this school feel like your new “home away from home” and at the end of the day the school just wasn’t for you. This is what so many transfer students go through at their first university. When your first college doesn’t work out, it can make you feel defeated and empty. You were so hopeful for the next four years at your school so when you have to pick up your life and move to a different school it can be overwhelming and scary.
When I transferred from a school in Jacksonville to Florida State University, that is exactly how I felt. It seemed like everyone loved the college I was at before and I was so upset that I didn’t have the same appreciation for my school that everyone else had. Before transferring to FSU, I was worried I would get all the way here and feel the same way, never being able to truly enjoy my college experience. All of my worries dissipated when I finally got to the school I knew I belonged at. When I stepped on campus I was put at , and I knew that this was the place for me. It is so much easier to work towards being the best version of yourself when you’re in a positive environment, at a school that you love.
To any students that are going through this process and feeling like their school isn’t for them, you’re not alone and you have every right to feel that way. Before I transferred people would ask me what I didn’t like about my school and I couldn’t put it into words; It was just this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn’t logical and it didn’t make sense on paper but after trying to make a school work for me for two years without any positive changes in my life, I realized that feeling in my gut was right and it was time for me to move on.
If you just transferred, especially to a bigger school, I urge you to get involved in your new school community. I know it’s overwhelming at first… New city, new apartment, new job, new campus and new friends but getting involved will keep you grounded and surrounded with new people that share your same interests. Make this whole new world feel like your own and expand your circle of friends and grow your own community.
Many students decide to transfer junior year from smaller schools to larger ones. Big schools can seem overwhelming and you might be uneasy about taking that big leap into a college you feel like you might get lost in. You don’t want to just be a number in the system right? That’s the myth we hear all the time but coming into a larger school I have never felt like I have more people on my side. Large schools have some of the best teachers, the best campus resources and the best advisers. Even though my classes have 50-100 people in them, it is so easy to connect with professors, and at the end of my first semester I knew all of them personally and they all knew me by name and would go out of their way to work with me personally if I needed help. Before transferring someone very close to me gave me a piece of advice that resonated with me and they’re words I will never forget. She said, “it’s a lot easier to make a big school feel small than it is to make a small school feel big,” and that’s the best piece of advice I can leave you with.
Whether you’re transferring to a much larger school or somewhere smaller, you’re not alone. Nearly one third of college student’s transfer at some point during their four-year degree. I’ve met so many people that have regretted staying at a school they didn’t but I have never heard someone say they regret transferring to a school they love. Go where your heart is leading you and make the most out of your new school. I can promise you it’s full of endless possibilities.
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