Should I Transfer to Another College? One Student’s Story of Switching Schools

college students sitting at table in libraryTransfer: The word never even crossed my mind as I entered into my freshman year of college in the fall of 2009. I have always been the type to stick with things. In high school, I participated in choir and band all four years. To me, quitting was never an option because I have always striven to achieve my personal best in everything I do. But I learned something my first year at school beyond how to write a college paper or where the best place to get food on campus is; I learned that it’s ok to change your plan.

Towards the end of my first semester I started to realize that something was missing. I was in love with my Interior Design classes, but since there was no music program there, I felt a palpable absence in my life. I tried joining a community choir, but it just wasn’t a good fit. In November, I started looking into other schools, and I was surprised when another school in the same city came up on the college search engine. I had remembered getting letters from that school during my junior and senior year of high school, but I, like many others, disregarded it because it was a women’s college. The more I researched that school, the more interested I became in seeing if it could be the right place for me. So I scheduled a tour and meetings with the Interior Architecture and Music faculty.

The day I visited I knew that I had found the place where I belonged. The picturesque campus matched exactly the vision I had in my head when I thought about going to college. Above all, I just felt a sense of pride, tradition, and scholarship that I didn’t find at any other school. As a high school senior, these attributes weren’t necessarily what I was looking for when researching colleges, and that’s because it’s hard to know exactly what you want out of a college until you get there and experience it.

The information you read on different college’s websites or college search engines, like how many books they have in the library and which programs of study they offer, isn’t always enough for you to know if that is the right place for you. Each college and university has their own unique culture and, at least to me, that’s the most important thing. You can find a similar program for your major at countless other institutions, but it’s the little things like the friendly cat that likes to hang around the bookstore, and the overall attitude and atmosphere of the student body that make up a positive environment that you will want to live and learn in for the next four years.

For me, transferring was an unexpected decision, but I realized that these college years are the time when YOU are responsible for your own happiness and success. If you aren’t satisfied with your current circumstances, change them! It is up to you to create the experience that you want from college.

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