Why Transferring Universities is Okay (and Pretty Common)

tranferring universities

Thinking about transferring? In the middle of the transfer process? Already transferred? As a recent transfer student, I’m aware of how emotionally and logistically difficult and time-consuming transferring universities can be.

For myself, it was a battle between the logical and the emotional. It was logical to stay at my old university; I had friends there, my family was close by, I was a year away from graduating, and I had an internship offer during my last year that would lead into a full-time position.

But emotionally, I had no ties to my university. It was in a city I didn’t love. Class was taught in a way I found sterile and unhelpful. I was paying so much money to a system I didn’t believe was offering me any value. So, after studying abroad and becoming emotionally attached to another university, I knew that transferring was an option for me in order to achieve my educational and personal goals.

transferring universities
Via studenthousingmatters.com

I had to weigh the pros and cons of transferring. Yes, I was happier at this other university, but was it worth throwing away everything I had already worked for and already knew? In the end, I decided yes; I chose adventure and challenge over comfort and mediocrity.

To those who are considering transferring, I know it’s scary. There’s a fear of the unknown and you’re taking a risk. But think about everything, both logically and emotionally. College is an emotional and logical decision, but sometimes one of the two must be more of a force than the other to really show you what you want.

To those of you in the process of transferring, I know it’s a huge pain. The transcripts, the financial aid, the credits, all of it. But I will tell you that after the dust settles and you get back on campus, you’ll forget about the process and only focus on the fact that you are now a permanent student!

To those of you who have already transferred, I know it’s exciting and nerve-wracking! A new school with new faces and subjects and policies can be overwhelming. Look at your transfer as an opportunity to have a fresh start and try new things. I got involved with a new club at my new university that wasn’t at my old one, which helped me find new passions and make new friends.

I know personally that there was a little bit of a struggle getting my parents, friends, and academic advisors on board. Contrary to what some may think, transferring is relatively common in the United States, according to an article from the Washington Post. More than one-third of college students transfer universities at least once, and from that one-third, almost half will transfer again.

transferring universities
Via nscresearchcenter.org

There are so many pressures in college now to know exactly what you want to study and to apply quickly for a better admission chance that students could make a decision to attend a university and then realize maybe it’s not for them. Instead of living with the idea that this choice is final, know that you can transfer, and it’s not the end of the world. People grow and change in college, and sometimes outgrow their school.

After reflecting on my decision to transfer (and it wasn’t an easy one…I’m the most indecisive human ever), I don’t have any regrets. I believe that this change, while scary, was the best change for me since it offered new opportunities. I urge you to think about if transferring is right for you, and at the end of the day, make the choice that best aligns with your goals. If you aren’t satisfied with your collegiate experience at the end of the day, you do have the power to make a change.

Also published on Medium.