Transferring colleges advice

Greta Gray is a full-time senior staff writer, part-time freelance writer and sometimes DIYer. She holds a degree in strategic communications from Oklahoma State University and currently lives in Austin, Texas where she enjoys exploring the city, defending OSU against UT fans and drinking craft brews.

It was the middle of my third year at a medium-sized regional university when I started questioning my future there. I loved the university but things had shifted over the last year and I began to feel like it might be time to move on. I was getting restless, many of my friends were graduating and I was losing my motivation. It was then that I knew I had to make a change.

If you’re considering making a major change in the direction of your college career, I know there are probably a lot of questions swirling around in your head. Whether it’s because of finances, by choice or a matter of location, transferring to a new college is pretty monumental.

I remember wishing that someone had filled me in on what to expect, from the technical side of transferring credits to the social aspects of uprooting my life. Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale and am now sharing the three best kept secrets of transferring colleges.

It can be the boost you need
In my case, transferring colleges was just the boost I needed to keep me motivated in my schoolwork and future career ambitions. While some may disagree, a change of scenery is often just what the doctor ordered. I suggest moving forward, not backward, in your choice of college (tougher program, bigger school, better reputation) and then embracing the new challenges it presents. For me, it’s the smartest thing I could have done in terms of my future career success.

Your social life will change
I’ve witnessed many people, including myself, transfer schools and see their social life change pretty drastically. The great thing is that it’s completely up to you how it changes. If you had a tough time coming out of your shell, this is your new start to get involved on campus. If you’ve always wanted to go Greek, do it! If you found that partying got in the way previously, take the opportunity to make friends that will support a less booze-filled lifestyle. Bonus tip: it does tend to get harder to make friends the older you get, so make it a point to jump in with both feet.

It’s never too late
I started at my new school the fall of my senior year. Some may have thought that was crazy, but I had finally ended up at my dream school and had more opportunities than my previous university provided. It opened the door to finding a major that was a better fit (my previous school didn’t offer the program), connecting with awesome internship opportunities and making amazing friends. How can that be bad? Whether you’re a freshman or preparing to enter your last year, it’s not too late to make a move.

Transferring universities takes a little preparation and a lot of confidence, but it can be one of the best decisions of your life. Be smart but brave!

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