Every college student on earth has incessantly heard the phrase, “College was the best four years of my life.” But what happens when you go to school and it’s just… not that? Not even close to that. You end up questioning what to do–whether you should try to make the best of it and simply get through or switch schools altogether. If this is the situation that you’re currently in, keep reading.
As a transfer student myself, it took me awhile to fully commit to transferring (partially because I’m insanely indecisive), but mostly because there’s a heavy sense of failure in the word “transfer.” I thought if I did change schools I would be giving up or admitting defeat, but that is not the case at all. Transferring is about taking back control of your life in the form of actively trying to make it better. It’s about creating an opportunity for yourself. I have only been attending my new school for a few weeks, but I am already LOVING it so much more than almost everything at my last school. So, if you’re in the position I was in a few months ago, here are a few signs that you should transfer too.
- You want to change your major, but your school doesn’t offer what you want
You should be able to pursue what you want to pursue because after all, your future career will take up a large portion of your life. Changing your mind on your major is perfectly okay and normal. Who expects a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives anyway? College is meant for you to explore and try new things, and that also includes what you study.
- You switched your major and everything is still ~off~
Maybe you thought the only reason you weren’t happy was because you were not satisfied with your classes, so you changed your major. However, this still did not fix everything. In this case, you should ask yourself what specific aspect, or aspects, of your school do you not like. Do you not like the culture? The student climate? The academics? Are you homesick? All of the above? The only way to make a positive change in your life is to find the route of the negativity and work to improve your situation.
- You DREAD going back to school (and can’t wait for the taste of sweet, sweet freedom in the form of winter break)
Counting down the days until your return home? We’ve all been there, especially during finals week, but counting down 42 days in advance? That might just be a sign you really are NOT enjoying yourself. College does not have to be the best four years of your life, but you definitely should not be miserable the vast majority of your time there. You should look forward to returning to school after breaks to see your friends, start your new classes, continue on with your clubs and extracurriculars, and whatever else you enjoy. So, if you feel that sharp pang of dread and anger in your heart every time a relative asks you how school is and when you’re going back, you should consider looking into other colleges.
- You put off making long-term commitments (because you secretly want to leave)
You make excuses about why you cannot wholeheartedly agree to room with your friend just yet, and you try to avoid looking at apartments (and don’t even mention signing a lease). Being unable to make long-term commitments because that means you will definitely have to return to your school the following year indicates that you truly want to leave your school, and maybe you should.
- You avoid social interactions and hide away in your dorm most of the time
Being introverted is normal, but everyone needs some social interactions. Whether it’s a huge party or a party of two watching movies and eating ice cream, we inherently need to be around other humans. Avoiding social activities because you would rather be alone watching Netflix all day illustrates that you have lost interest in college life. Constantly alienating yourself is not just you being an introvert, it is a sign that you are unsatisfied with your campus’s culture. When you are in the right space, you will want to participate in almost everything because you will be excited about all the activities life and college has to offer again.
- You’re not excited about your future
You view going to school then getting a job as just an aspect of life everyone has to do in order to make money and survive. Nothing exciting or remotely positive can come from working right? Wrong. College marks the beginning of your career as a real adult, and you should be excited and hopeful to see what you are capable of achieving! Don’t play the safe route and pursue what you think you are expected to do, take control of your life and work towards attaining the career and life you dream of. Because it is possible to be simultaneously working and happy.
- You are more unmotivated than you thought was humanly possible
From academics to how you dress to your social habits, your effort has significantly decreased. Lacking inspiration and excitement about college life makes it hard to put effort into everyday activities, even ones that you typically enjoy. Going to the wrong college can drain you. This screams that you need to make a change and get out of this negative space in order to feel lively and carefree again.
- You are constantly thinking about transferring
Even in your best and happiest moments, thoughts about transferring continue swarming around your head. If you can’t take your mind off of the possibility of being somewhere—anywhere—else, you should research some other schools to see if you think being there would help your mental, social, and academic well-being.
Before dropping everything and transferring colleges, you should know that switching schools is not going to magically fix everything in your life, but it can help make you feel a lot happier and hopeful about the future. Definitely do your research to know which school is a good fit for you, your major, and your future. You never know, maybe your next school will end up being the ever-promised best two or three years of your life!