All the Wrong Reasons to Transfer

by
Former Assistant Editor, Online Specialist, Carnegie Communications

Jun   2013

Wed

19

If you’re reading this, you’re likely thinking about transferring. Maybe you’re at the stage where the idea is just a little inkling, or perhaps you’ve got the applications printed out, complete, and ready to send. Either way, have you stopped to think about your reasons? There are some that make sense—a change in major, completion of community college, etc.—but others that may have you looking back and asking, what was I thinking?

Let’s avoid the latter thought. We’re going to be totally honest—maybe even harshly so—and discuss all the wrong reasons to transfer colleges. If you’re pondering some of the following thoughts, you may want to think twice before sending off those transfer applications.

I don’t have any friends

An unfulfilling social life may very well be a good reason to transfer. But you have to put effort into it first! Strongdecision friendships don’t just show up at your door, so try the following:

  • Reach out to dorm-mates to grab lunch or dinner
  • Check out some of the events offered by your residence hall or student clubs
  • Join organizations to meet people with similar interests
  • Talk to the people next to you in class, or start a study group

If the general vibe of the campus isn’t one in which you fit, then transferring may be the only option to get back into your comfort zone. But universities abound with students of all different kinds of backgrounds and interests, so before you just up and leave, actively seek out the people who could end up being your closest buddies.

I miss my significant other

If your relationship is very serious, you two can find a way to work through the distance until you can be together again. If you miss your boyfriend/girlfriend, but like your current school, stay distracted by immersing yourself in your course work, extracurricular activities, and a fruitful social life. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but relationships don’t always last through college, so switching schools just to have a relationship end later will be crippling on not only your emotions, but on your college experience.

I don’t like my roommate

Roommate experiences are rarely perfect, but don’t let that imperfection force you out of your school completely! Try to communicate openly about problems. That’s easier said than done, of course, but you can always rope your RA into that conversation to see if you can sort through your problems and have a more enjoyable dorm experience. If that doesn’t work, you can always switch rooms after your first semester (which is a lot easier than switching schools). Don’t let what happens inside your dorm room affect what happens outside of it too.

I’m homesick

College is a change, and being away from home is one of the major changes. But there’s a reason why alumni attend “homecoming” each year: because their school became their new home! The transition will be uncomfortable at first, as it’s tough adjusting to a new schedule and environment. But there are ways to make the transition easier:

  • Keep some routines. If you ran every morning in high school or watched a movie every Sunday night, don’t let that go just because you’re in college!
  • Stay in touch. Thanks to modern developments, your family is more than just a phone call away, but a FaceTime, Snapchat, or Facebook post away. Ten points for technology!
  • Don’t mope around. If you come home from class, crawl into bed, and cry every day, you’re signing up for homesickness! Keep yourself busy—after all, you are at college: you have homework to do, meetings to attend, and friends to visit.

Are there any other "wrong" reasons to transfer? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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