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Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

Transferring After One Semester

Everyone always says, “Give it a year. If you still don’t like it, then you can transfer.” I didn’t give it a full year. I transferred schools after one semester and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Fall semester was not a fun time for me. I was three hours from home, super homesick, lonely, and stressed out to the point where I would wake up shaking in my bed and I could barely eat. And when I did eat, I was lucky to keep it down. 

This may be the reality for most first-semester freshmen in college. College is a brand-new experience, and frankly, it’s kind of terrifying! Everyone seems to expect that going into it though. I certainly did. However, everyone also knows that eventually it gets better. I kept waiting for it to get better and it never did. 

I had to face a great deal of skepticism from practically everyone I knew once I told them I wanted to transfer the next semester. People were not the most supportive. They kept insisting that I wait a whole year. I didn’t want to wait, and to be honest, I didn’t know if I could wait. 

I can’t pinpoint one specific thing that made my first semester terrible. It all just added up. I was three hours from home. I didn’t know anybody there going into it, I didn’t have the best roommate relationship, and I wasn’t interested in my major anymore. On top of that, it was a larger school, and I grew up in a very small town. My senior class had 39 people in it.

I agonized for literally months about whether to transfer, which, in college, is no small feat. I still had classes, projects, and other things going on. Yet every time I had a free minute, I’d find myself wondering, “Should I transfer?”

Every day I would wake up and obsess over the idea of transferring. I tried to analyze every possible outcome and how I would feel. The only thing that ever made me hesitate about transferring was the two good friends I had made. Within a few short months, I had found the friendship that I had always wanted within these two girls. It made it really hard to come to a final decision.

In the end, I decided that I had to do this for myself. I may have made two good friends, but I was miserable any time I was without them. I couldn’t stay just for them. And I couldn’t stay just out of fear that my family would be disappointed in me. I transferred, and it was the best thing I could’ve done.

If you are going through something similar, whether you’ve been in college for two months or two years, my advice to you would be this: Everyone is different. You are not alone. Your feelings are valid. If you know yourself enough to know that your reason for wanting to transfer makes sense to you, listen to your gut. Other people may try to talk you into something else, but ultimately it is up to you. I know it can be a scary thing, but if you truly are wanting to transfer, you will be so glad you did.

Rachel is a junior at Youngstown State University, majoring in Business Administration. In addition to being one of the Campus Correspondents for her school's Her Campus chapter, she is a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a Campus Trendsetter. She loves writing, hanging out with friends and family, and Star Wars. She hopes to one day manage a large resort somewhere tropical (or at Disney World!).
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