Transferring: Advice for Before + After Making the Decision

Have you ever asked yourself if you’re at the right school? Some people grow up knowing exactly where they want to go for college while others have no clue — it’s a huge decision + we all had to make it within a few months. Not everyone makes the right decision on the first try + that’s okay! For many, transferring ends up being the best decision they made, so if you’re considering transferring or if you’re starting at a new college this semester, we have a few tips for you —

BEFORE TRANSFERRING

During the first half of my sophomore year, I was miserable. The majority of my friend group from freshman year did not return + I felt so alone. I spent my weekends searching for other colleges + trying to figure out how many credits would transfer. Overwhelmed by misery + stress, I paused to look deeper into my unhappiness + ask myself these questions //

  • Am I doing everything I can to make the best out of my experience here?
  • What will another school offer me that I don’t have here?
  • What is the source of my unhappiness?
  • What do you want to get out of college?
  • Can I ever see myself being happy here?

When I asked myself these questions, I discovered I was mainly missing the social element of college. Yet, I hadn’t done anything about it. I wasn’t involved in any organizations + aside from classes, I wasn’t opening myself up to opportunities which would allow me to meet new friends. I bet you’ll never guess what organization I found ; ).

If you’re currently feeling like I was + you haven’t officially made the decision to transfer, use your next semester to test some new things out. Narrow down what you feel you’re missing out on + what you don’t like. Then, take steps to change that — whether it’s joining new clubs, testing out different class sizes, or taking a class outside your major. Also, test out your feelings toward leaving. For a week or two, pretend as if you’ve already decided to transfer + make note of your feelings. Does it bring you joy or sadness to know it will shortly be your last meal in the dining hall + your last class? If you still possess negative feelings near the end of the semester, your college may not be the right fit for you + transferring could bring you the happiness you’re missing.

AFTER TRANSFERRING

For some, the hardest part of transferring is making the decision to do it. We applaud you for choosing yourself + making a decision to benefit you ++ your happiness. We know adjusting to a new school can be difficult, so whether you’re making the transition now or in the fall we have some tips for you! We spoke to Maria Ferrato, transfer student + fellow CHAARGie, who shared with us her advice for adjusting to a new school —

1] Stay Out + About

When starting out at a new school, don’t stay cooped up in your dorm room//apartment. You never know who you may meet at a coffee shop, in the library, or at the gym! By staying out + about, you open yourself up to meeting new friends + classmates. Finding one friendly face can make the adjustment process a lot easier.

2] Say YES!

If you’re invited to try out a club or go out with a group of people, say yes! Always remember to stay safe + make smart decisions, but don’t deny an opportunity to try something new. You may find something you absolutely love! If you say yes to something + you don’t have fun, you don’t have to do it again [but at least you tried it!].

3] Get involved

Even if it’s scary because you don’t know anyone yet, join a club or two! So many girls have met their best friends through CHAARG + other organizations. Clubs are a great way to meet new people with similar interests to you! Many CHAARGies credit CHAARG in aiding their adjustment to a new college [so if you transferred to a school that has it, grab your membership here!].

Transferring can be a tough decision to make, but it can enhance your whole college experience. It’s important to remember the adjustment may not be immediate. It takes time + some rough days//weeks to fully adjust, but once you do it can be everything you hoped it would. As always, whether you’re contemplating switching schools or preparing to start at a new one, we are here for you!

Did CHAARG help with your transition to a new school? Share your story with us on Insta using #inCHAARG!

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