Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Truth About Transferring

First of all, let me just start out by saying that this is not a pity post. I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me, I am writing it so that people who are considering transferring know what to expect because I know the deadline is coming up soon (March 1st for most schools). It isn't the happiest of posts, so I won't blame you if you skip this one (I am posting a much happier post as soon as I get the chance!).
People ask me if I regret transferring, and the truth is, I don’t. But if you asked me if I would ever do it again, I’d immediately say no. If you are reading this and considering transferring, ask yourself one question: “Do I love what I am leaving behind?” and if your answer is yes, don’t go. I could not be more serious about this, you are about to embark on a really difficult transition and if all you can think about are the amazing people and experiences you left behind, it will be infinitely worse.
I transferred colleges this past fall. I changed my mind about my major last year and, on a whim, decided to apply to transfer. When I got in, I honestly didn’t know what my decision was because I loved my old school more than anything. I was so indecisive that I paid my deposit for my new school to secure my spot in May, told my friends I was transferring, and still made pros and cons lists. Despite that, in July I officially decided that I wanted to transfer and I made my deposit, telling myself “I am doing it for the right reasons.”
I would tell myself that a lot for the next several months, and I still tell myself that now. If I had a nickel for every time I told myself that I made the right decision I could probably pay for my tuition.
Even in my case, I knew that transferring meant leaving behind a lot. I don’t have an Adam to give me a hug when I have a freak out over math, no Shannon to have a Monday lunch date, no Taylor to drive to West Virginia with, just because, no Becca to talk about everything with, and the list goes on.  I cannot regret transferring because it opens up a can of worms I don’t want to deal with, but I could never do it again.

one of my favorite pictures with some of my favorite people (photo credit: Andy Cho)

The truth about transferring is that it sucks and the hardest part isn’t just what you’ve left behind but what you enter into. You will enter a situation where everyone has established themselves. They have friends and routines; meanwhile, you will be using the GPS on your phone to find classes to do your best to avoid looking like a freshman all over again.  The only friends you will make off the bat are other transfers because we all revert back to the safety in numbers idea when we get scared.
You will cry. In my case, you will cry a lot. You will wonder how you thought this was a good idea and why it is so difficult to make friends when it came so naturally last year.  Fridays aren’t for going out, they’re for Netflix and phone calls to your momma because, lets face it, you don’t have a group to go out with.
I don’t want to imply that everyone is rude and ignores you. People will be nice to you, but holy cow, it is hard to establish a friend group. Hopefully you will have a wonderful life-long friend who happens to be an RA in a nearby dorm and will act as your shrink when you need it (K-Soms, you are the best), but if you don’t, find someone else to talk to.
Basically, having no friends isn't fun and it's only worse when you miss your friends from your old school like crazy. I am trying to keep a positive outlook on it, and sometimes rock bottom isn't so bad because the only way to go is up. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
These anecdotes aren’t meant to dissuade you if you hate your school and all you want to do is escape, nor are they meant for people to feel sorry for me. This post is for those of you who aren’t sure if you want to transfer. I don’t want to scare you, I want to deliver the honest truth that I didn’t know before hand. Maybe you will transfer and it will all work out, and it does for many people. Some of us though, struggle with it. Some of us don’t have a smooth transition and, heck, still don’t have a smooth transition. It has improved a bit, especially now that I am officially affiliated with my sorority, but not by much. Maybe it is because I am not assertive around people I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I am that socially awkward (I really hope not), but regardless, I still feel pretty lost and alone.
The truth about transferring is that no two people have the same experience. The truth about transferring is that any attachment you had to your old school will grow ten-fold in retrospect. The truth about transferring is that it sucks.

I swear I am putting up a happier post soon!


1 comment:

  1. thank you, sweetie! it's rough, but just gotta keep going. LOVE your blog, by the way