Why It’s Okay For Freshman To Do The Taboo Thing And Transfer Schools

by Max Karp

Right about now, you’re probably just starting your second semester of change – I mean, college.

Five months ago you were just a "child," sheltered by the very parents that raised you to this point. The jail cell they call high school let you free, your parents eased up a bit and you planned your last summer to capacity with all the bells and whistles.

So with graduation in the rear view mirror and college around the corner, worries were the last thoughts to cross your mind.

Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- was going to stop you from making the long-awaited escape to college.

In high school, you spent most of the time stressing over college.

Questioned by every adult and classmate about “what,” “where” and “why,” it’s no surprise you were relieved when you put down that deposit.

It was over! No more pros and cons, no more standardized tests. Done.

The first semester is everything.

Not only does it set the pace for the next seven (yes, seven) semesters, but it allows you to live and learn through experience rather than stories from parents and older siblings.

And just a few short weeks ago, you took that last exam and closed the books on your introductory semester to college.


You came home to all your friends telling stories of their journey thus far.

They told you about their best friends, that guy from welcome week, or that girl during finals and everything in between. You’ve heard it all.

It’s often around this time, however, that you notice differences in your experiences.

You listened to your friends stories, crying of laughter every time they did, but sat there wondering why your stories weren’t as funny or why your friends have ten for every one you can think of.

But it's okay, you’ll have triple the amount of stories after second semester, right?

Then it hits you: Something isn’t right.

You may not hate your school, but you’re not really happy at the college you’re at.

Everyone tosses around this concept of 'transferring" as if it’s nothing but a sign of failure.

No one wants to transfer; we all want to get it right on the first try.

But let's be real here, that’s not always reality.

At the end of the day, we’re human. We will make mistakes.

But with many mistakes, there’s a second chance to make right.

Transferring is that opportunity. Transferring is more about what could be and not what is. Things may not be great right now, but they will get better.

People like to associate those who transfer with those who are weak, but transferring isn’t running from your fears. Transferring is seeing potential in yourself and seizing the opportunity to strive for more.

Of course, transferring packs with it a lot of concerns: living arrangements, making friends, academics and scheduling, among many others.

Atop the list, however, should be the question, “Will I be happy?”

I raise this question because, despite how amazing a school may appear, there is never a promise of happiness.

Neither Stanford nor Harvard can ensure the happiness of every student.

Academics and university reputations are great, but if you’re always unhappy success will never taste so sweet.

It’s time to take your life into your own hands before these four years flicker by like a short movie.

If you’re not happy, make the change.

You may leave behind some friends, certainly a few memories, but the amount you’re leaving behind is only a fraction of what you will obtain over time.

Remember something: You’re young.

You have your whole life ahead of you and a massive world to choose from. Forcing yourself to be happy somewhere you’re not will never benefit your life.

Life isn’t a one-way trip. Sometimes it takes a few turns to get to where you’re going.

Trust the process; trust yourself.

Transferring isn’t an escape, just a reroute.

Drive safe.