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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Merrimack chapter.

Asking eighteen-year-olds where they want to live and go to school for the next four years is an insane concept to me. Clearly, some will make the wrong decision about where they will attend college, and I don’t understand why people make so many judgments about transferring. Adults who have it much more figured out switch jobs and move all the time, but for some reason, there is a stigma around transferring: like the person making the “wrong decision” or “could not push through it”. 

I am someone who made one of these wrong decisions on where to attend school, and I am grateful I did. In December 2020, I committed to the University of Vermont to study business. My entire year there I had an okay time; I made good friends and memories. However, something felt off, I would describe my time there as good for one year, but not for three more. I would not have wanted to skip my year there; although it was difficult, it helped me become who I am today. A lot of the beliefs about transferring surround the idea that people hated their first institution, but that is not the case for me. I just do not think I would have thrived the way I do at my current school. 

I came home for Easter. We did not get any days off of school, but I was struggling so much that I left on a Tuesday and drove the four hours straight home. My brother, who was a freshman at Merrimack College at the time, said to me “It should not be like this Addison, you shouldn’t be having this hard of a time”. That really stuck with me as most freshmen in college, who made the right decision, don’t skip their classes for a week to go home because they are having a hard time. By then most students have settled in and have adjusted to college life. I went back to finish the little-less-than-a-month I had left with the mindset that all I had to do was make it to summer, and then I rethought my plans for the fall. 

When school ended and I returned home, I was thinking about applying to Merrimack. Fortunately, their transfer applications were still open, so I applied and ended up getting in. Thus, my decision was made, I was attending Merrimack College in the fall. 

Within a few weeks of being at Merrimack, I had a gut feeling that I made the right decision. My roommate became my best friend,  I became much more involved and was doing well in my classes. The adjustment was difficult coming in as a new sophomore, but I just kept putting myself out there. This brings me to my first tip for transfers: Put yourself out there. Yes, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to step out of your comfort zone, but I promise it will pay off in the long run. 

I was lucky enough to just randomly be placed with some other sophomore transfer students and returning juniors who were very involved on campus. They gave me my second piece of advice, get involved on campus. In college, especially at Merrimack, getting involved is a very easy way to make friends and even just acquaintances. My roommate explained it perfectly: “Just be there”. Do not pass up opportunities and don’t be afraid to go to campus events. This brings me to another recommendation, don’t be picky. It is harsh but honestly, as a transfer you are not in the position to turn things down even if they sound not very appealing. I would go to dinners in the dining hall even when I did not want to, or join clubs that I didn’t one hundred percent want to join. Most of the time I would feel better after and usually have been introduced to at least one new potential friend. 

A change I noticed is that it isn’t like freshman year. Everyone in your classes isn’t going to be adding others on Snapchat or wanting to be friends with all of their classmates. Instead, I focused on making one meaningful connection with someone in each class. It is nicer to have one familiar face you can say hi to on campus and who you know at least a little bit about, than 20 random people’s numbers you won’t ever text. I was feeling pretty lonely in the beginning, but seeing that one class friend around every once in a while made it better. 

Transferring can feel isolating and difficult but remember doing what’s right for you is always the best decision, and if things don’t work out you have the ability to switch paths. As you have seen from my experience, you have to put in a lot of effort and it might be challenging but stick it out. I am forever grateful I chose to leave my first college because (as cheesy as it sounds) I would not be the person I am today without these experiences.  

Addison Molloy

Merrimack '25

I am a junior at Merrimack College studying Communications and Media with a minor in English. My passions include writing, reading, and skiing. My favorite books are Beach Read by Emily Henry and Black Swan Stories by Eve Babitz. I hope to one day be able to write my own book! On campus my other involvements are Zeta Tau Alpha, Green Team, Relay for Life, Book Club, and The Office of Student Involvement.