You’ve hit a wall. For whatever reason, you’re just not clicking with your college of choice, and you find yourself thinking that you’re not in the right place.
Coming to this realization is tricky, and many people are wary of taking the next dramatic step: transferring colleges. Maybe you’re worried you’ll disappoint your friends or family, or perhaps your concerns are financial. It could be that you’re stressed over the thought of delaying your eventual graduation.
These are legitimate concerns, but there are also equally compelling reasons for leaving a college you’re no longer comfortable attending. Below, you’ll find six of the top signs that your current school is no longer the right fit, as culled from inquiries we’ve received from students who once found themselves in your shoes. Read on!
- Your Ambitions Have Changed
You’re not the same person you were back when you were deciding in high school which college you wanted to attend. College is as much about finding your path in life as it is going to class, and that path might not reveal itself right from the start.
Here’s what you need to understand: it’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do in life. That’s a pretty big decision to make, and not every 18-year old will find the final answer to be clear-cut.
When you realize your current major is no longer right for you, the best course of action is to figure out what you actually want to do. Meet with an advisor, talk with your family and look within yourself to find your place in the world. Once you have some idea, go for it, even if that means exiting the college that can no longer provide you with what you want.
- The Structure Isn’t You
Not all colleges are created equal, especially in how they approach their interactions with students. Some colleges and universities provide a supportive environment that encourages regular meetings with counselors, extensive tutoring services and career resources that will help land you a job.
Other colleges, not so much. Did you get incredibly excited by the giant state university’s expert sales pitch and tour of the football field only to find that, once you actually arrived there, you were treated like just another number?
If so, your experience is far from unique. The structure of some larger colleges isn’t for everyone and can actually work against many students. If you feel like you’re getting lost in the shuffle, then by all means, you should begin to look elsewhere.
- Not Clicking With The Cliques
Sometimes the feeling that you’re not at the right college is harder to pinpoint. Maybe you’re just not “clicking” with your classmates and professors the way you thought you would. Where in high school you had no trouble interacting with teachers and other students, there now seems to be an invisible wall that keeps people at a distance.
It may just take a little bit of time to get used to the new normal, but if time doesn’t help matters, then you could think about switching to another college. Again, it all goes back to the idea that one particular college experience isn’t for everybody, and you have every right to seek out something that makes you happier.
Hold your head high and admit it: you miss home. It happens to everyone, even people who were out the door before their graduation caps hit the floor.
You may miss home more than you thought, and if it gets to the point where it’s affecting your grades and your interactions with your peers, it could be time to think about transferring. There’s no shame in doing so if you know it will make you happy and successful.
- Sick of Homeness
Let’s call this the opposite of homesickness. Maybe you decided to attend a college just a couple miles away from your parents' house only to find that you’re still being treated like a high school student.
It’s okay to crave the independence that college brings, and if you find that you’re actually too close to home, transferring colleges might be the right move.
There aren’t nearly as many jobs in your chosen degree path as you thought. You had a family emergency preventing you from focusing on your course of study. Maybe your interests just aren’t what they were two years ago.
A variety of hindrances could present themselves during the course of your college tenure, and ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out when the time is right to make a move. In small doses, none of the above is a dealbreaker, but if you get to the point where you dread walking out the door to go to class, a change is probably in order.
We hope you’ve found this blog helpful. If you’re thinking of making a transfer but don’t know where to start, then download our Transferring Credits Checklist, which provides a quick reference to the ducks you’ll need to get in a row to switch to a new college. Enjoy!