As a graduate of one small college (1,000 students in a town of 10,500) and…
Most college first-years start their falls with lots of mixed emotions. There’s the excitement of exploring a new place, the fear of being accepted by new people, the peace of starting with a fresh clean academic slate, and the sadness of leaving friends and family. As the year progresses, many first-years wonder if they made the best choice. This feeling is normal. Most students have this question at some point or another. Some may think of it more often than others while others may never verbalize it out loud.
Why it’s good to think about transferring
I think it’s great when people think of transferring. It means that they are feeling some discomfort. This feeling might be because they are being stretched and pulled in new ways. They may feel out of sorts because so much change is happening so fast. There is a tremendous amount of growth that occurs when we feel uncomfortable. It helps us develop character. It makes us reflect on who we are, what our goals are and who we want to be. Often change makes us reevaluate what’s most important to us. These are all good things in my mind because when we deal with this discomfort, we grow as people. We develop new understandings and mature emotionally. More can be found on the positives of uncomfortable learning here. Or if you want to think more about why change is good, check out these quotes.
Can you feel too comfortable?
Others may feel extreme comfort or even boredom in college because they are not being challenged enough. Their classes might be too easy. Or maybe they are at college with friends from HS and they have not made new friendships. Maybe these students need to look beyond what they know and push themselves out of their usual routine. Not enough challenge might signify the need to explore something new, like a new subject area or a new club or a new set of people.
Questions to ask yourself
- What are you feeling? Put some names to the feelings you have.
- Why are you feeling this way? Think about some concrete examples for why you feel the way you do.
- What can you change to make yourself feel better? There are some things you can change (like trying a new activity to meet new people) and other things you can’t change (like the distance from home.) Try to figure out what you are in control of and work on those pieces first.
- Who can you talk to about how you feel? This might be a RA, a teacher, a friend from home or a family member. Try to pick someone who will listen and ask you good questions.
What happens next?
If at any point, you are wondering if you are in the “right” place, please reach out and talk to someone. The staff at My College Planning Team is always willing to offer a complimentary consultation to help a student think through what is happening. We can offer you some reflection tools, some options and some practical advice to help.