Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

Transferring: The scary, the exciting, and the unknown

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 U Mass Amherst chapter.

Transferring is not exactly a universal experience, however, it is much more common than you would think. This can be for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, you’re simply a very different person when you are 16 and 17 applying to colleges than when you are 18 and 19 in your first couple years. School might not be what you expected, you could have had a change of mind in the program, and the cost and distance of the school could sway you too. I used to have a severely negative connotation with transferring, I thought it meant you failed or that you do not know yourself. Having gone through the experience, I now know that is not the case. 

One of the greatest fears when you first decide to enter the transfer portal is that it will not work. When you are intentionally trying to leave a place that does not fulfill you, it is so scary to think that you will have to stay.  Whether it is that you might not get into where you want or your credits don’t transfer, it can be terrifying. There is also the fear that whatever reason you have for transferring will not get better once you start at a new school. You will have gone through all the work to improve your life and college experience, and it won’t work. I wanted to transfer because the quality of my professors had diminished, I missed home, and all my friends had already left. I intentionally made sure that anywhere I applied to was closer to home, knowing that I might not find a welcoming community or challenging academics.   

At the same time, I was beyond excited. I could have a fresh start. Now that I knew what to expect, I would do college the right way. More than anything I was eager to learn, and I was thrilled to have new perspectives in my program and be prepared more for graduate school. I was excited to join clubs, go to sporting events and view college as a time to live rather than a time I simply needed to get through. Newness can and should be exhilarating. Everyone always says that about their freshman year of college, and now I can experience it too. Finally, I would be able to enjoy college.

Not knowing what to expect can be one of the hardest things about transferring. However long you spent at your old school, you get used to the flow of it, whether you liked it or not. Getting used to where you are going, the course load, the manner in which you submit assignments, and even the right times to go to different places are all things you have to relearn when you start at a new school. You have to find new study spots and know what all the social expectations are. Even if you are thrilled to be transferring, you had a normal consistent day in which you knew what to expect at your old school and now you are forced to learn and create new habits. This is by no means a discouragement to transfer, but instead cautioning some of the anxieties that come along with it. 

From my own experience, transferring is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. My only regret is not doing it sooner. If you are unhappy where you are and you have the ability to leave, you owe it to yourself to find a better fit. It’s not easy by any means, but you are not just meant to survive college, you owe it to yourself to find ways to enjoy it. Even if that means starting fresh.  

Can’t get enough of HC UMass Amherst? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, listen to us on Spotify, like us on Facebook, and read our latest Tweets!

Kethry Milne

U Mass Amherst '24

Rising senior, political science major, coffee enthusiast, run lover and haircare extraordinaire.