An Open Letter to the Student Who's Thinking About Transferring

Dear student,

This is not a persuasive essay written in Times New Roman, formatted with double-spacing, and 12 pt. font about why or why not your decision will be right or wrong. Instead, I want you to know that we've all been there. Before you go, or before you stay, here are some things to think about when considering transferring colleges:

 

1. Ask yourself why?

 

Why do you want to transfer? If it's because you cannot afford the college you're attending now, then that is a reasonable justification, but if you haven't tried to find financial aid or apply for scholarships, then you may end up running into the same issues in the future anyway. If you want to transfer because the lectures are too large or you don't feel like you're getting the attention you need to succeed from your professors, then that is also a valid point, but again if you haven't made an effort to go to office hours or you sit in the back of the class watching Game of Thrones while you should be taking notes, then you could come across the same issues at another college. Maybe you want to switch your major and it's not offered at your school, maybe you're at a huge party school and don't fit in because you don't like to go out, whatever the case may be, try to weigh out the pros and cons of transferring for your specific reason. And if you haven't tried other remedies to your issues, reevaluate. The stress of transferring could be lifted from your shoulders if you can adjust at the school you already attend.

 

 

2. Figure out the pros and cons.

 

Making a list of pros and cons is not a bad idea, but it is a pain. Sometimes the lists end up being the same length and you have to make a choice not even related to the lists, but if there is a clear difference in the number of pros compared to the cons of transferring, it's probably obvious what you should do. Really think hard about why you're uncomfortable at the university or about why another one would suit you better. Also, think about how your issue with the university is going to be solved at another one.

 

 

3. Research other universities.

 

The first time you were researching schools might've been back in high school when you didn't know 100% what exactly you were looking for. At this point, at least you know what you don't want in a school, and hopefully, you know you're expecting. The advantage of transferring is knowing what the process of applying, getting accepted, committing, moving to campus, and attending college classes already feels like. Now, you just want a more positive experience with accommodations you didn't even realize you wanted before. Search online for universities with the best major for you. Look at the median class size, student to professor ratio, the location of the campus, and all the stats that will help you choose a better fit. It's also crucial that you visit the campus at least once before you decide to further your education there.

 

 

4. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 

If you're only focusing on the negative things at university and you can't focus on anything else but how much you despise being there, you need to take a step back a look at the bigger picture. First of all, you are the one who chose this school in the first place and you are the one spending money on classes, textbooks, room and board, and whatever else. Make the most of the situation while you can, because you still have to spend a little more money and time there until you find another school to attend. Also, if your grades are slipping because you feel unmotivated to do well at that specific college, wake up! Everything you do there will be reflected in the application and transcripts you send to a possible future university. Don't say RIP to your GPA; not wanting to be there should help motivate you, even more, to work hard so that other schools will accept you.

 

 

5. You've come this far.

 

You're not giving up if you decide to leave, but you have already made it to this point in your academic career. You could have just one semester under your belt, or maybe a few, but at the end of the day this is your life. If you are truly unhappy or you feel as though you are not reaching your full potential at university, transfer to another one. It can't hurt to try. Usually, if you feel something isn't right, it isn't. Change is a good thing if you do it for the better.