Starting college can be stressful, and a huge adjustment period! I think many people question whether they’ve made the right choice of school in the first few weeks, and that is totally normal! But, if that feeling that you are not in the right place does not go away, it may be time to consider transferring colleges!
I transferred twice, both for two completely different reasons, and they were both the right decision for me. More than a third of all college students transfer, whether that be from community college to a four year school, or from one four year school to another. Here are 8 signs you should consider transferring colleges.
Signs You Should Consider Transferring Colleges
1. You want to pursue a bachelor’s degree
If you are at a community college and want to continue your education, you are going to have to transfer. You can transfer from community college at any point, and most people chose to transfer after two years. This is what I did, and it was the best decision for me! I was able to do over 60 college credits, which meant that I had a lot that I was able to transfer and it didn’t add any time to my degree. If you are wanting to transfer to a four year school, I would recommend speaking to an advisor at your school and the school you are hoping to transfer to, in order to come up with the best transfer plan.
2. You don’t feel safe
This was a huge factor in me wanting to transfer. I honestly did not feel safe in Kalamazoo, and felt like I really couldn’t go anywhere alone. When I visited the school and area I went with my boyfriend and it was in the summer during COVID, so it was really hard to gauge what the school was really like and how I would feel being there alone. As someone who has lived in very safe areas my whole life, I just felt so uncomfortable, and like I couldn’t enjoy my time there to the fullest, which ultimately led to me transferring colleges.
3. They don’t have the major you want
It is is so hard to know what major you want to pursue before starting college! For example, if you decide you want to pursue nursing and your school doesn’t have that major, it may be worth transferring to another school. This can be a really hard decision to make, especially if this is the only reason you are considering transferring colleges. If you are in this situation I would recommend speaking to an advisor, and seeing what options there are to get you to your end goal.
4. You aren’t happy
If you notice you feel much more unhappy at school then at home, it may be a sign that you should consider transferring colleges. I would give this some time and figure out what is truly making you unhappy. You may be going through an adjustment period, or you genuinely may be unhappy with your choice of school. If you figure out it’s the latter consider transferring colleges.
5. The school is not what you expected
Maybe you thought you wanted to go to a small school, but now you’re really wishing it was a little bit bigger, or vice versa. Maybe it is the atmosphere or the culture of the campus just isn’t for you. Maybe you thought you wanted to be in a city, but now you are wishing you were in a college town. I could go on and on, but you get the idea! The college is NOT what you expected at all, and after being there for a while, you realize you want to leave. Whatever it is, give yourself some time to adjust to the new environment, and try to make the most of it, but if you know it isn’t right for you, then you should consider transferring colleges.
6. You feel as though it doesn’t have enough opportunities
If you are feeling as though the college you are attending does not have enough opportunities, or organizations that align with what you are wanting from your college experience, you may consider transferring colleges. I personally felt like there wasn’t many groups at WMU that I was interested in, and they really didn’t have many organizations compared to most other schools. I also felt like other colleges were going to provide me with more opportunities that would help my career. While this wasn’t a deciding factor for me, it definitely made my decision to transfer that little bit easier, as I knew I would have more opportunities elsewhere!
7. You’re struggling to make friends
This is hard during COVID, I’m not going to lie! But I felt like I was struggling to make connections at Western Michigan, and it didn’t help that I was so far away from everyone I knew. Making friends does take time, it is definitely not something that happens instantly. If you find after a while you really aren’t connecting with anyone, try to join groups that have similar interests to you, and if that doesn’t help then I would consider transferring colleges.
8. It doesn’t feel right
Trust your gut! If you keep feeling as though you are in the wrong place, listen to that feeling. I started feeling this my first week at Western Michigan, and the feeling never went away. The feeling was so strong that I personally knew I wanted to transfer the end of that semester, I did not want to try and see if it got better. If something feels wrong, it probably is, and you just need to trust that feeling.
As I said, I transferred twice. The first time was because I was finished at community college, and wanted to pursue my bachelor’s degree. The second time was for a combination of reasons, including that I felt unsafe, I was struggling to meet people, I felt like I didn’t have many opportunities, and the main reason was that it just did not feel right. I can honestly say I am so much happier, and transferring colleges was 100% the right decision for me!
Listen to your gut, college is only 4 years, and you want to make the most out of it! I would say to give your school some time, but if you know it is 100% not right for you, then definitely explore transferring! As always, thanks for reading.
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