I get it.
You’re feeling home sick after being away for so long. You aren’t enjoying the weather in your college town. You’ve come to realize your school doesn’t offer exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe campus just isn’t big enough for you, or perhaps too big. Whatever the case may be, something about your school isn’t sitting right with you, and you ‘re contemplating a chance of scenery.
Yes, I get it.
Many college students have strongly considered transferring schools at some point in time. For a number of reasons, students feel like transferring schools is the best decision for them academically, athletically, financially or even just geographically.
While you’re weighing all of the decisions that have you wanting out after the end of the semester (or ASAP) you should also consider all the reasons that brought you there in the first place, as well as all the great things that have come along the way.
Think about all of the new friends you’ve made on campus.
Isn’t this one of the greatest aspects of the college experience?
Think about the very first friends you made at college. The ones that helped you feel like being away from home wasn’t so bad. Friends you studied with on weekdays and partied with on weekends. Friends you went to the homecoming football game with and who you linked up with to watch the Super Bowl. Friends that you’ve driven around town with, gone out to eat with, played video games with and celebrated birthdays with. All of these moments and memories with new friends you’ve made in college will be some of the greatest of your life.
Transferring schools eliminates away from the opportunity to create more of these moments.
You lose out on the chance to grow into upperclassman together, share an apartment together and graduate together. Solid friends are hard to come by, and the ones you end up meeting while in college are so important to helping toward transitioning into being away from home for an extended period of time.
You’re not guaranteed to meet a friend or a group that is as close to the one you have at the school you’re already at. Consider them as you ponder a new college setting.
Think about the freedom you have being away from home.
Deep down, we all miss home while we’re in college, but always think twice before you let it be the deciding factor in you transferring schools.
Being away from home is the best way to prepare yourself from, well, being away from home. I get that you’ve probably spent your entire life around your family, and being away from all of that can be challenging and abnormal, but it’s part of growing into your adult stage.
You need this space to explore life for the first time in your life. You need to see what true independence is all about, and discover your true identity as a person. That’s exactly why you left home for college in the first place, and transferring close to home with your family within reach would make it pretty tough to find unlimited freedom.
Believe me, your family is missing you just as much as you’re missing them, but as their lives at work and at school or wherever they may be are carrying on, as should your college education. They’ll be there when you get back, and it’ll be like you never left, but until then, there’s plenty of ways to keep in touch.
There are so many ways to be busy as a college student. There are so many clubs and committees you can join to be active among the student body, job opportunities to earn money in the community, intramural sports to stay active, and that’s not even mentioning the pile of homework you’ll be taking to your dorm room. There’s so many different and fun activities to put your focus on and away from feeling homesick.
Make a phone call home, FaceTime or Skype, text your siblings, do whatever you need to keep in touch until you visit your family during breaks. Consider how important and wonderful your freedom and independence are before letting homesickness send you packing.
Think about the state of your academic success and your financial situation.
If you’re struggling in the classes you’re taking now, don’t be afraid to seek some help!
Some students feel the urge to transfer schools because classes are too hard for them, but universities offer ample resources for tutoring and academic support. Utilize the library the best you can. Seek out tutors on campus. Look into study groups. Don’t let challenging classes intimidate you. College courses are meant to set you up for future career smarts and success, and the real world isn’t always so easy to tread through!
In some cases, credits from a university that you attend won’t transfer to a school that you would like to go to and can set you back academically. Think about whether this is worth needing to make up credits you’ve already earned before deciding to change to a particular school.
Also, consider your student loans and grants. There’s a chance that not all of your scholarship money will follow you to your next destination, and will hurt your pockets when its time to pay back student loans. Be sure to talk to financial aid about which grants and loans will and won’t transfer, or made aware of potential financial help you could be eligible to receive at another institution.
Think about the process of moving in and getting settled.
Lastly, strongly consider how laborious the move in period was. The time it took to get checked in, the new student orientation, the “hi, my name is” introductions. Do you really want to deal with this again?
It takes weeks, sometimes months, for a student to grow comfortable at their campus and adjust to their new way of life. Transferring schools and uprooting yourself to plant yourself into the soil of a new institution completely restarts your move in, new student orientation (since they make all new students do this, whether they’re a freshman or a new transfer).
This forces you to make adjustments all over again. New school in a new community. Reacclimating yourself to new students in with the goal of making a new core of friends. It’s all a process that can be avoided by staying put.
Now, I’m not saying that transferring schools is bad or is wrong; there is a fair share of logical reasons to transfer. When you are thinking about making a move to a new school, however, you should definitely think twice these things:
Think about the great friends you’ve made on campus and how many great experiences you’ve had in such a short time. You could always make new friends, but will they come close to the ones you already have?
Think about how it truly feels to be away from home. You wanted space, independence, the chance to be on your own, and you’ve got it. You’ll miss your family’s presence, but they’re missing yours, too. Is transferring closer to home really going to make you feel as independent and free?
Think long and hard about your grades. Classes are meant to be challenging, and if they are, don’t quit or give up on yourself. Allow the institution’s resources to help you out. Tutors are more than willing to walk you through the steps, and it never hurts to ask the professor themselves questions about lessons. Classes may seem overwhelming and you may feel like a new school would be easier, but have you tried to seek out the help your school offers?
And think about being unsettled. Again. That’s what would happen if you decided to transfer schools. Moving in all over again, trying to meet new friends all over again. Figuring out where everything is on a new campus. It becomes quite a process, and you always run the risk of not enjoying the new college you move to, and perhaps you’re looking to transfer yet again. Is all the hassle worth it?