My Journey Transferring to FSU: Five Pieces of Advice I Would Give My Past Self

As the semester comes to an end, I am reflecting on my journey so far this year. Transferring schools was one of the hardest things I've ever done, yet the best decision I've ever made. Last year at this time, I didn’t know what the future held for me. I was scared, confused, and felt alone. A year later, I am much happier, and I have grown so much from the process. Here's what I've learned this past year:

1. It's okay not to be okay. 

One of the hardest things I did last year was admit to myself, and my parents, that I wasn’t happy. During my senior year of high school, my family and I put so much effort into finding the best college. I tried so hard at my first school to make it perfect, even though deep down I knew it wasn’t. Admitting to myself that I wasn’t happy was the first step. Telling my parents over winter break that I wanted to transfer was equally as hard. College is a big investment, and it's important to love your school. I have fallen head over heels for my new school, but that wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t take the first leap to admit I wasn’t happy.

2. Seek out other transfer students. 

Obviously, it's hard to come to a new campus because you're not a freshman, but you're still new to campus. One of the things I did was seek out other transfer students. Since we were all going through the same thing, it was easy to become friends. At FSU, there are even clubs just for transfer students.

3. Join as many clubs and organizations as you can.

This is so cliché, but so true. For anyone that's coming to a new school, it is key to join as many clubs as possible (and actually, go to meetings!). First of all, these meetings kept me busy. On Monday nights alone this semester, I had three meetings to go to! Secondly, it forces you to meet people in a different setting. If you are seeing the same people fairly regularly, you are bound to make a few friends. One of the clubs I joined coming to FSU was the advertising club. The only reason I joined this club is because of the advertising class I was in. I really enjoyed the class, so I decided to join the club. From going to meetings, I found out about a trip to New York City, where we would get to tour different advertising agencies. I took a leap of faith and went on the trip knowing absolutely no one. I came back from the trip with new friends, and a passion for advertising, which has now become my declared major. None of this ever would have happened if I hadn't signed up for the club.

4. Say yes to everything. 

Transferring to FSU, I knew no one. It's hard to come in as a transfer because you weren't in those initial freshman GroupMes or Facebook pages. I was in a sorority at my old school and affiliated with the chapter at Florida State. Of course, it was uncomfortable at first walking into a house full of 200 where I didn’t know anyone, yet we were all supposed to be sisters. However, I quickly fell in love with my new home. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is always saying yes when someone asks to hang out. I am typically pretty introverted, but having this mentality forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and I'm so glad I did. Saying yes to all plans that came across my plate led me to find the people I have become closest to.

5. Be CAREFUL when registering for classes. 

We all know that sometimes advising isn't the best, especially for transfer students. The process can be overwhelming and frustrating. In my case, I was registered for a class that I already took at my other school, it was just under a different name! Be careful when signing up for classes, make sure that you match up what courses transfer over. Being careful and deliberate can save you hassle in the future!

Transferring schools was the best decision I have made. I have grown and matured so much as a person. Yes, it was ridiculously hard at first, but I found my way. Having to move cities, meet all new friends, and adjust to a brand-new academic setting was challenging, but I can proudly say I have overcome these obstacles, and the reward is so sweet. If you aren't happy at your school, I urge you to take the leap, and take the initiative to change your situation — it's worth it.

All images courtesy of Sarah Morris. 

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