At first, I wanted to keep my desire to transfer a secret. I didn't want anyone else to know because I wasn't even sure I'd get into the school I was transferring to. I was scared. I knew that leaving meant starting over, and starting over meant throwing away everything I'd accomplished in the past year. Sure, it had been hard to find my place on campus, but I had managed to get used to life there and had begun to make the campus my own. Did I really want to walk away from it?
The answer was yes. I knew from the start that I wasn't going to a school that I was in love with. I had gotten rejected from my top choices, with only this school left. I had tried to find the good qualities and get myself excited about the prospect of just being somewhere new, but I never quite felt the buzz that many of the other students on my campus felt. I wasn't in the right place, and two months into freshman year, I realized that the solution was to transfer.
There's not just one reason that I wanted to leave, but rather a collection of them that all somehow connect. From the beginning, I found myself not fitting in quite as well as I'd imagined. Of course, I've met some wonderful people, but overall, I didn't find a lot of other students like myself. This is in part due to the fact that my school is more science and business related, while I'm an arts major. So not only were the people very different from myself, but also the program for my major was not to the level that I wanted to be working on.
I put in my application for another school. It felt odd to be working on college applications again, but I knew where I wanted to go and what I needed to do to be there. It was only after an audition for the department and several months of waiting that I was finally accepted. Accepted! Having a place to be for next year excited me greatly. Suddenly, my time at my current university became a countdown clock and I began to value the mundane aspects of my everyday life here: conversations with friends, dinners at my favorite restaurants and the classes I would be finishing up with in a month or so. My outlook completely changed now that I had a final destination.
Am I happy that I decided to transfer? Definitely. Of course, I'll be going through everything all over again: orientation, housing, making new friends, etc., but I know that it'll be so much better this time because it's at a place where I know I'll fit in, in a close-knit department. There are certain aspects about my current university that I'll miss, but there's nothing I regret about making the decision to transfer. I realize now, after all of this, that not everybody gets it right on the first try, and that that's OK. It's really not always about where you start. It's where you end up that becomes your home.
Lead Image Credit: Stephen Bergin via Unsplash