You Don't Need to Be Ashamed About Transferring
Sometimes the first experience of your adult life can be the scariest.
The summer between your senior year of high school and freshman year of college is the scariest and most freeing two and a half months of your life. You're spending every waking second with your friends and making stupid teenage decisions before you need to make those of an adult. You're buying things for your dorm, posting pictures of what I called my "college corner" (a space in my room filled with boxes of decorations, bed spreads, and memorabilia) on your snapchat story. You're valuing every second and making memories with the most important people you've met.
So what happens if it doesn't go according to plan? What happens if you get to college, give it your all, and it's just not for you?
There is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether it's your major or even the school itself, you do not need to be embarrassed. Nothing will be a perfect fit, but you know yourself better than anyone. If something is genuinely wrong, you'll know. Believe me, you will.
Sometimes it starts off with struggling to transition properly. It's easy to just chalk it up to that and sometimes, maybe that's all it is. Don't let go of that immediate thought. Don't brush off your discomfort with the thought of "I'm just overreacting." I thought that same way for my first three months at my university, spending every moment miserable. I pushed my emotions to the side and told myself it would be okay. Sometimes, the voice in the back of your head is there to help you. Listen to it.
I spent the first semester of my college career at a school I hated. I was surrounded by people who loved this school. All of my friends always talked about how our university was a perfect fit. My parents even thought I would excel there. I thought that I would excel there. But I couldn't picture myself graduating there. I couldn't even picture myself finishing out the year there. I felt entirely and utterly alone and terrified, until one of my suitemates revealed she was leaving at the end of the semester.
My eyes were opened. I knew leaving our university was an option, but I never really knew anyone who did. My heart pounded when I thought about transferring, even if it was to my small community college back home. This is the exact moment when I knew something wasn't right. I was standing at a fork in the road and I didn't know whether I should go right or left.
The week where I decided to leave at the end of the fall semester was the hardest week of my life. I spent those days crying, on the phone with my family, texting friends nonstop, and sleeping. There was a lot of sleeping. But on that Friday, I went to the financial aid office of my university and asked to withdraw all of my scholarships and loans for the spring semester. As soon as I scrawled out my signature, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
Realize that sometimes, your first option isn't the perfect option. No matter how many college tours you go on, you won't really know the school until you're there. If you end up at a college you love on your first try, congratulations! If you end up at a college you hate, I'm sorry, but realize you are not alone. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. You don't need to be forcing yourself to stay somewhere you're unhappy. Follow your heart—you'll find where you belong.