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5 Signs it’s Time to Transfer

You did it- you graduated high school, got accepted into your dream college, and you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life. You’re bubbling with excitement while moving into your dorm, you kiss your parents goodbye, and you’re ready to begin. But what happens when all that bubbling excitement goes flat sooner than expected? What happens when you find yourself struggling to be excited about anything? What happens when you realize the place you were most excited about turns out to be the place you hate most? Unfortunately, this happened to me.

In the first week of my freshman year of college, I realized that the “school of my dreams” turned out to be the school from my nightmares. Therefore, in the spring semester of 2013, I became another statistic of Pitt’s “Transfers Accepted” percentage. Luckily for me, I was able to realize early on in my college experience that I needed to make myself happier. And the way to do that was to transfer from my tiny, suburban, there-is-literally-nothing-to-do-here campus in Ohio, back home to the bustling and alive campus of Pitt. I’m a city person, and I thought taking myself out of my element would be a great way to experience a different lifestyle than what I was used to- I was WAY wrong. So, I made the decision to leave. However, for a lot of students it’s not as easy. I’ve spoken to a lot of friends who were transferring or thinking about transferring, and I gave all of them the same advice I gave myself: the five warning signs telling you that you need to transfer.

1.  You’re not happy

An ambiguous word, but an important word. College is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in your life. You’re supposed to be “excited” about a lot. Yeah, class and work can be a drag, but you shouldn’t be miserable every day. I, slightly embarrassingly enough, cried to my parents back home every single night because I absolutely hated my school. For the most part, I’m a happy person; so this constant sadness day after day wasn’t normal. I just was not happy with where I was. The strain of being sad can take a toll on you mentally, physically, and academically.

2.  Your schoolwork starts slacking

Homework isn’t necessarily categorized in the “fun” category. But for the most part, when we have homework, we know we have to get it done. I started to not even care about my work. I hated my classes, I hated the place I was in, so I couldn’t even bring myself to focus on my work. I just stopped caring.

3.  You’re TOO homesick

Whether you’re near or far from home, we all find ourselves a little homesick at one time or another. However, being so homesick that it literally casts a dark cloud over your entire day may be a sign that it’s time for a change of pace. I’m close with my parents, but I knew I would be able to handle being apart from them, so this wasn’t just a case of homesickness. It was a lot more than that.

4.  Where you are just doesn’t feel right

When I’m walking down Forbes on a Friday afternoon and there is an event going on inside and outside the union, with Pathfinders leading tours everywhere, people all over the sidewalk, horns blaring, and music blasting, I know it’s where I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be going to school in an urban setting. However, my first school was the total opposite of that- situated literally in the middle of a town with an enrollment of 6,000. The nearest city was 45 minutes away by bus (three transfers AND we had to pay the fair because it wasn’t offered with our IDs, like it is at Pitt), and the only stores within a walking distance were Target and TJ Maxx. I began to go a little stir crazy.

5.  You’re negative about everything

Not liking where I was, missing home, and being bored out of my mind was a deadly cocktail of straight misery. Every day I would wake up and dread going to classes. I would be so upset that I had another day ahead of me- another day of being unhappy! If you’re scowling at everything from the tours going on to the food on your plate in the cafeteria, it might be time to leave.

Granted these warning signs can be applied and understood in different ways. These were the signs that I (as well as my friends who ended up transferring) can relate to.

When it comes to transferring you really have to think about yourself. Don’t think about anything from the perspective of your parents, friends, or family members. You need to learn to think for yourself to be truly happy. If you are considering transferring, I suggest you take the College Quiz that is offered on collegeboard.com. It’s a great way for you to answer questions honestly, and see that maybe another option is a better fit to you. Remember, a LARGE percentage of students transfer and it’s totally normal! College is full of surprises, and actually attending the school is a whole different ballgame than touring the campus. College is meant to be fun, so make it fun!


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Entertainment Editor, Her Campus Pitt @abbystubenbort i like bands & boybands & burritos & pop culture
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