Ask Alyssa: Edition 4

I’m thinking about transferring from Marywood but don’t want to make the wrong decision. Do you have any advice for making this decision?

I’m really sorry to hear about this because I’m sure it’s been a tough road leading to this decision.  There are certainly a few practical things to keep in mind when transferring.  The first would be, when?  It may be too late to apply for next semester and if so, you need to decide if it’s practical (financially, academically, etc.) to continue at Marywood or take a semester off.  Next, I think it’s important to map out where you’re transferring and why.  Write out a list of pros and cons for each school and really think it through so that you can ensure you’re not making a rash decision.  If this choice is for financial reasons, I don’t think you’ll ever regret being in less debt.  If this choice is for academic reasons, like switching your major, then I’m cheering you on for going after what you’re really passionate about, and I encourage you to work hard for it.  If you’re considering transferring due to social reasons, then I have some advice for you because I was once in your position.  This is my theory and it might be cliche, but I truly believe that you need to make the best of wherever you are.  Why do you want to transfer from Marywood?  Are there things that you can get involved in or try out before making the decision to leave?  If you know you need to go elsewhere, then that’s fine because no one can make that decision for you.  But I do want to let you know, as gently as possible, that no college will be perfect and there will always be things, and people, you dislike or disagree with.  As Ghandi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world”.  If you’re not happy, I say do something about it.  That could be transferring, but that could also be a change of friend group or joining a new club.  What I’m trying to say is don’t sit back and point out what’s wrong, expecting opportunities and friends to come take you by the hand.  If you do that then no other setting will satisfy.  You’ve got some decisions to make and I’m sure, despite any setbacks, you know and will choose what’s best for you.

 

I just recently got out of an unhealthy relationship.  This wasn’t our first breakup but it’s for good this time.  I’m wondering, though, if a year from now we’ve both changed, would it be a bad idea to get back together?

To be fair, I truly can’t answer this question because it would have to be a case by case basis but by the sounds of it, my short answer is yes.  Let’s define love.  I would define it as doing what is best for your beloved.  It is a choice or an action and NOT a feeling.  Think about the several times you’ve broken up and why.  I’m willing to bet you had very good, practical reasons to do so, but your feelings led you back to a relationship that wasn’t right for either of you.  Now you’re saying that you’ve made the decision to end for good.  I understand you’re going through a difficult time right now and no one should expect you to just get over it because we’ve all been there in one way or another.  However, this time of heartbreak and struggle is not time to be wasted.  That energy needs to be directed toward working on healing and bettering yourself in preparation for future relationships.  If you heal with the sense of hope that you’ll both change in a year and get back together, then your healing is built on a false reality and you could be setting yourself up to have to go through another healing process if/when that change doesn’t happen.  Now let’s say, hypothetically, that you meet up with your ex after a year and you’ve both really matured and changed for the better.  That does not mean that you should get back together.  Relationships end and that’s okay.  That is the purpose of dating, to figure out if you should spend the rest of your life with someone.  When you see that your ex has grown since your breakup, you shouldn’t think that means they’re yours for the taking.  Instead, you should look at them with a smile and think I did what was best for them, despite how hard it was and now they’re more equipped for the one they’re truly meant for, as am I.  That’s difficult.  That’s sacrificial.  That’s selfless.  That’s love.