When I was a freshmen, I started researching my transfer prospects within two weeks of beginning my college experience. Transitioning to life away from home can bring challenges, even in those who eventually fall in love with their college of choice. When this feeling continued into the end of my first semester, transferring felt closer to a reality.
At first, I wasn’t interested in researching new academic opportunities or transfer admittance rates. Instead, I was most concerned with the experience of students who went through the process. What was it like to start over somewhere else? I began pouring over student blogs and message boards all over the internet. During final exams of my first semester, I let a Reddit user talk me out of transferring.
In their post, the user discussed how difficult transferring is. With the process now behind me, I can’t pretend that he wasn’t wrong. It’s a challenge, far more challenging than the first application process. Rather than relying on the support of your high school and peers, you have to be self-driven and focused. Most importantly, the post detailed the social challenges he faced. He felt that he had made the wrong decision to transfer from a college where he had friends and familiarity. That sentiment made me delete all of my browser bookmarks of transfer applications.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 that I had my final change of heart. I felt overwhelmingly disconnected from my college and my peers. It’s easy to assume that the separation is your fault. If everyone else is so happy, what am I doing wrong? It’s important to remember that the sentiment of “it’s not you, it’s me” doesn’t exactly apply to colleges. There’s nothing wrong with either of you. It just isn’t a fit.
I didn’t begin to have a positive college experience until I began my transfer applications. Writing dozens of application essays on top of my schoolwork hadn’t been what I expected to tackle in my sophomore year. Regardless, I enjoyed it because I was back in control. I wasn’t happy, but I was going to do something about it. That drive kept me focused on my academics and my applications. Logging back into the Common Application brought me back to the excitement of imagining the future.
I hope you’ve found this article because you’re thinking about transferring. If you read that same Reddit post I did, you’ll know that transferring is hard. As difficult as it can be, trying to integrate into an established community, it’s significantly better than staying where you are. If you’ve reached the point where you’re looking into transferring, there’s a very good chance it’s the right choice.
Imagine how it would feel to take control again. Imagine how much happier you could be this time next year. Transferring to Tufts has been the most positive academic experience I’ve had. I take pride in telling people that I’m a student here, and even more that I went through the self-directed transfer process to earn my place in the class of 2020. My first two years have made me grateful for the endless opportunity. Getting the first acceptance letter made the spring of my sophomore year so much more hopeful.
If you’re still unsure about transferring, imagine where you want to be this time next year. Last year, I was ready for a change and looking for a greater academic challenge. By taking a chance, I’ve made sure my last two years of college will be my best.