Transferring Colleges Was The Best Decision I Made During The Pandemic

I decided to transfer colleges a month into an online semester and it was the best choice I have ever made.

In October of my senior year of high school, my parents and I were taking a day trip when I made a declaration. “I want to apply for an early decision to Marist,” I told my parents. Naturally, this came as a shock to them due to the fact that I had been flip-flopping between FIT, Marist, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Statements consisting of things like “where did this come from?” and “we need to talk about this” were thrown around as my parents and I headed north on the Taconic state parkway. The next month consisted of many conversations with my parents and my guidance counselor trying to figure out all of the logistics, especially since I had decided to ED later in the game than you probably should.

Flash forward two months, and I received my acceptance letter. I was so happy and excited and all I could think about was how I was going to get through the next 9 months until I got to go. The one issue was that after the glow wore off, I had the burning thought of FIT in the back of my mind. I watched people I knew get accepted, and while I was happy for them, part of me was also jealous. I brushed the thoughts off though, reassuring myself that if I had picked FIT I would have had the same thoughts about Marist.

The few weeks leading up to when I was supposed to leave for school were busy. Obviously, the pandemic made things a little different but I was still excited. My roommates and I lucked out and got a corner room complete with a walk-in closet that was nearly the size of my room at home. The three of us spent so much time texting about everything we were going to do and how we would decorate. 

Our move in was split up into two days. One day we would go and move our stuff in and then a couple of weeks later we would get dropped off. But the night before I was supposed to move my stuff in, I started thinking. Did I really want to spend $60,000 to not even really get a college experience? The more I thought about all of the pros and cons of going to college in person during a pandemic, I decided that no, I wasn’t going to go. Instead, I was going to defer for a semester and take online credit courses at FIT. I talked this plan over with my parents, and they said that I should at least go and move my stuff in just to see. 24 hours later on the car ride home, my thoughts hadn’t budged. 

But then they did, and I decided a few days later that I did want to go. So off I went. For not even a whole day. My only night of college was pretty fun: we walked down to the river, got ice cream at 1:00 am, and had a blast playing the card game For the Girls. I knew in my gut that it wasn’t right though. I spent the next day Facetiming my parents in between classes crying and begging for them to come and pick me up. 

A month into my online semester, I still knew something wasn’t right. My envy towards any FIT students I saw on social media kept growing and I spent so many late nights texting my friends and telling them how badly I wished I were there. I scoured the website reading every single class description in the Advertising Marketing and Communications program, fantasizing about taking those classes. 

The thought of transferring crossed my mind, but it seemed ridiculous. I was a first-semester freshman not even on campus. How could I get any sense of what Marist was really like? But when I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I decided to at least apply and I could figure out what I wanted to do if I got accepted. 

By the time I received my acceptance email, it wasn’t even a question that I was going to transfer. Sure, maybe people would think it was weird that I was transferring so quickly. But I honestly didn’t care. I knew in my heart that I wanted to be at FIT. There is such a stigma around transferring colleges, or taking semesters or years off, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Why should I let other people’s opinions dictate my life? 

I have been living in an apartment in the city with my best friend for almost a month now and I have had absolutely no regrets. The “what if” feeling that I thought I would have no matter what isn’t there.

I followed my instincts and did what was best for me and I’ve never been happier.