The Pros & Cons of Being a Transfer Student

At first, I believed transferring colleges was the best decision I could make. I quickly found that being a transfer student isn’t as perfect as it seems. Since February was the month I applied to transfer to UCF (and the time that many high school students must decide whether to go straight into a four-year university or do the two-year college to university transfer track), here are the pros and cons of transferring that you may need to consider:

Pro: Saving money on housing and tuition

This one is probably to most obvious and most underrated. Have you ever heard of a transfer student drowning in student debt? Nope? I didn’t think so. Going to a two-year college near my home saved me a whole lot of money that would have been spent on overpriced tuition and housing. This is probably the best reason to transfer, as it takes off a lot of financial stress.

Pro: Excelling academically and feeling like you’re moving forward

Taking only general education classes at a two-year college, though easy, made me feel stuck and as if I wasn’t moving forward in my career. The decision to transfer to a university and go straight into the courses in my major finally allowed me to work towards what makes me happy. If you're not sure what you are doing at your two-year college, transferring to a university takes a bit of that uncertainty off and puts you closer to finding your career.

Pro: Guarantee of acceptance

This may be different for other states, but if you plan on going to a Florida community college to get your Associates of Arts or Science degree and transfer to a four-year Florida university, you are pretty much guaranteed to whichever university you would like. That relieves a bunch of stress that comes with wondering if you will get into your dream university and makes you feel like you can do anything.

Con: Not having time to change your mind

Many people have changed their major two to four times throughout their college career, but after a certain year, switching majors becomes a huge waste of time and money. Freshmen and sophomores entering the school get to choose classes in their major early on, which allows them to switch if they feel they do not like it. As a transfer student, you are put immediately into your courses as a junior and do not get the time to “try things out.” If you end up not liking what you are in, you have only that one semester to decide to switch or else you're stuck with it.

Con: Making friends is harder

When you enter a university as a freshman, you have many opportunities to make friends with those in the same class who also have no friends. When coming in as a junior transfer, it seems everyone around you already has established their friend group, and it makes it a lot harder to make friends and strong connections. Without joining a club or organization, making friends in such a big university would seem impossible.

Con: Experiencing transfer shock and taking way harder classes

Woah. The jump from community college level classes to four-year university classes goes from one to 100 real quick. Being straight-A A student throughout all of college, I disregarded all the warnings of “transfer shock.” I assumed it was for all the students who will be out partying and not for me, the study-hard student. I was wrong. Though my GPA did not drop drastically, my whole first semester was—indeed—a shock. These professors take their jobs very seriously and the course load is no joke.

In the end, do whatever is best for you. Whether your decision is made based on financial, social or academic reasons, take the time to learn about your school, your major, the classes and how different it is. Most importantly, if you are considering transferring, do not be afraid, it's different for everyone. Take it easy, join clubs and pay attention to those who have done the same as you.

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