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Transferring to a New College After a Semester Off

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The past year and a half during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a time of intense stress, worry, and anxiety about the unknowns of the future. This period of time was when I needed to search for a university to transfer to and make my final decision-which I did not do. 

The days felt so tedious and slow, yet I was running out of time to visit schools, do proper research, apply, and be accepted. September turned into October, October turned into November and before I knew it there was no way I would be able to choose a college. With the constant back and forth of classes being in person and then moved online, I barely had time to even eat, forget figuring out where I wanted to transfer to! My days consisted of waking up and sitting at a kitchen island for about ten hours of nonstop schoolwork on my laptop. I was so tired, stressed, overworked and overwhelmed, and felt like I had zero sense of direction. 

When I finally arrived at the decision to not transfer to a university in January, I felt relieved yet so disappointed in myself. I was already a semester ahead and didn’t want to invest so much money into attending a school where I might just sit in a dorm room on my laptop, but I still felt like I let myself down. Looking back, I know I made the right choice for myself, but at the time all options seemed wrong.

I spent my semester off deep diving into colleges, finally taking care of some serious medical problems, and I moved to a new city! That brings us to now in the semester of 2021. I made my decision and knew that getting back into the groove of college would be difficult since I have never taken that much time away from school. However, I didn’t expect it to pose this many challenges. Here is what I’ve been experiencing the past few weeks:

  1. My motivation was very low the first week of classes. After so long not doing any type of schoolwork, trying to get into the right headspace to sit down and get things done was rough.
  2. I have the most debilitating brain fog I have ever experienced. I can’t think straight to the point of not knowing how to do basic functions and knowing basic information! It’s frustrating because I know I have the ability to complete my work, my head just isn’t completely where it needs to be yet. 
  3.  The performance anxiety that I have been feeling about everything is indescribable. Not only am I jittery and have heart palpitations when I speak in class, take quizzes, and turn in assignments, but I feel this way just thinking about my schoolwork. I have always been neurotic and anxious, but this level is completely new for me and surely bad for my health. 
  4. Establishing new routines that work well with my mind and body has been the most difficult element of living on campus as far as trial and error. I’m slowly figuring out what works and what else I need to do to effectively take care of myself. 

While everything listed above seems extremely negative, there have been countless positives the last few weeks. Remembering that all of these feelings are normal and will improve with time.

Hello! I am a Forensic Psychology Major with Minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. I am the secretary for Sexual Assault Awareness Team and am involved in STEP and Psychology Club at St. Ambrose University. In my free time I enjoy painting and embroidering, being a dog mom, and spending time with my friends!
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