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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

Transferring schools is no small task and requires a lot of thought. No matter what year of school you’re currently in, this is the time of year when you may begin to figure out that your school is not the right fit for you.

I am a transfer student myself, and I transferred after my sophomore year of college. I had just started when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and adjusting to college while living through a pandemic simultaneously was so much more difficult than I could have imagined. From the beginning of college, I didn’t love my school, but I decided to give it a chance for two years because of the pandemic. Once society started shifting back to pre-pandemic rules, my feelings towards that school did not change, and I came to the conclusion that the particular school wasn’t for me. There were a few things I kept in mind while making the decision to transfer, and it may help you if you’re thinking about transferring too!

Think of your “why?”

Is the dining hall gross? Do you not fit in with the school’s culture? Anything that you don’t necessarily vibe with about a school is a valid reason for not wanting to continue to attend. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to leave a college, and all are factors in your reason “why.” When I was weighing out all of my options, I wrote down all of my feelings. I made a pros and cons chart that visually laid out the benefits and downsides of both staying and leaving my school. Transferring schools is a huge task that involves a lot of time, research, and self-advocacy. That being said, determine whether or not the reason you are unhappy at your current school can be fixed without the headache of starting over somewhere else. Personally, I wanted to be at a larger school that was more suburban. One factor that went into transferring schools was I realized that I didn’t like the small-school feel and was constantly bored being surrounded by mountains and cornfields.

Remember that nothing is permanent

When I was struggling at school, my mental health declined; I felt like I was stuck in quicksand with no escape. Every time I called my mom on the phone, she made me feel better by reminding me that “nothing is permanent”. These three words have stuck with me because they are so true. No situation is permanent. Life comes with highs and lows, which ultimately all come to an end. You have the power to make positive changes in your life so that unhappiness does not stay permanent.

Listen to your gut

Ultimately, you know yourself the best, so therefore, you can make a decision that will best serve you. Once you have weighed out your options, assessed your motives, and taken a breath, listen to your gut and do what you feel is best. Once you have all of the information and resources you need to take further action, you can then decide whether or not transferring schools is for you. 

Remember, life is a journey, and everything we go through teaches us a little bit about who we are. Life isn’t linear, and we learn things about ourselves in (often) chaotic and confusing ways. Just remember, you are not alone; plenty of people decide to transfer schools. Do what will make you happy. Don’t be afraid of change and the unknown! Now that the hard part is over and I am finally at my new school, I am much happier and am thriving and all different ways. I enjoy all of my classes, I love the culture and environment that I am in, and I made friendships that I value. I would say that I am much more successful here than at my old school. Your environment plays a huge role in your success and overall well-being. If you are not happy where you are, then how will you be able to fully thrive?

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