Thursday, December 24, 2015

Should I Transfer?

Hi everyone! As the first semester of this school year is now complete for almost all universities, I wanted to talk about something that is a very real concern for students once they return home after that first semester. Transferring out of a college after their first or third semester can be a true issue for students once they complete their finals. It is a decision that deserves a lot of conscious thought and research, so I wanted to talk about that with you today.

Now, sometimes a college that we choose just does not work out for many reasons: you decide to change majors, the student culture isn't what you thought, changing home dynamics cause you to be perpetually homesick, your physical or mental health deteriorates, and so many other reasons. What's important to remember here though is this: IT IS YOUR REASON. It does not need to be explained or rationalized to anyone but yourself! Before you make your final decision about transferring, you should have a conversation with those who you are closest to, as well as, an advocate on your campus to determine what other options you have.

Why should you talk to your family - These are the most supportive people in your life, your parents, siblings, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, or another family member you trust. They know your personality best and should be able to help you decide what will be best for your new path. They can also help show you the pros and cons of transferring to another institution such as: academic quality, financial feasibility, and student life experience. Their support can also help you manage whatever your reasoning is for wanting to leave your current college, ie: depression/anxiety, lack of friends, or missing family members.

Why you should talk to a student advocate at college - These are Resident Directors, your RA, Counselors, Advisers, or any other administrator who you trust or respect. The reason you should speak with someone on your college campus too is so that if there is something on campus that can combat your reason for leaving, then they can help you find it! Oftentimes, students will choose to leave a college because they are having difficulty integrating into a social structure, so meeting with your RA or Adviser can help you find some clubs or organizations that you can join to make friends and start having a fulfilling college experience.

ABOVE ALL ELSE - Do not decide to transfer out of or into a university because of another person, ie: a boyfriend/girlfriend, crush, or best friend. You need to do what is best for you, not what is best for them. If your relationship/friendship is meant to last, then it will withstand the distance and the struggles of being apart. This is your chance to grow, learn, and become independent so don't let another person persuade you to transfer.

Story Time - My Freshman year of college, I contemplated transferring out of my alma mater. I did not have many friends (other than my roommate), I was told by my Adviser that I would not graduate on time, I missed my family and boyfriend, and honestly just wanted to be closer to my comfort zone. So, I looked into transferring into a comparable college that was only about forty minutes from my house, however as soon as I looked into the financing options I knew it would not be feasible. Most often, and this was the case for this university, transfer students get extremely limited scholarship opportunities. Even though I graduated valedictorian in High School and I had a full tuition scholarship already, I would have only been eligible for a $7,000 merit scholarship. This completely changed my mind and option of transferring. --- Instead, I chose to find ways to make my time at my alma mater exactly what I wanted it to be. I joined a few clubs, signed up to be an Orientation Leader, looked into other academic opportunities to combat my Adviser's statement. This was the BEST thing I could have ever done. I stuck it out and made my college experience exactly what I wanted it to be ... I grew up and became way more independent and just started acting and thinking for myself so that I could succeed exactly how I wanted!

Deciding whether or not to transfer out of your university is a huge decision, so make sure you look at all of your options: finances, student life, academics, and family relationships. Ultimately, you need to make the decision that is best for your success in the future and your growth as an individual and whatever decision you make, stand up for it and make it work! If you have any questions or concerns about your experiences or about possibly transferring, feel free to comment below, send me an e-mail or direct message me on Twitter, I would be glad to help you or just be a sounding-board for your decision!

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you all have an incredibly Merry Christmas surrounded by your families and friends. Take joy in this time that you get to spend with each other!

enjoy the chase,

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