Few things are worse than learning the grass isn't much greener on the other side.
In an ideal world, you make a list of colleges your senior year of high school, choose the one that best fits you, apply, receive your acceptance letter and graduate four years later.
But as too many of us know, that's not always the case.
Circumstances shift, people change and, as a result, it's not uncommon to transfer.
According to a report published in 2015 by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 37.2 percent of college students transferred at least once within six years.
But transferring schools can be a lot of work, and not everyone does it for the right reasons.
So before making such a heavy decision, ask yourself this question: Is transferring right for me?
Here are five reasons to justify such a big change:
1. Academic Upgrade
In a 2014 New York Times article, Kevin Carey discussed two studies that looked at colleges' ability to prepare students for the “real world."
It found that grades were not an indication of future success.
Your GPA may benefit from a school that doesn't challenge you, but your brain won't.
Come graduation, you may find yourself to be less competitive in the job market, therefore transferring could help you in the long run.
2. Financial Necessity
A school's quality of education is not defined by its tuition cost.
If the tuition and cost of living at your current school have become a burden, transferring to a less expensive school could help both now and later, especially if you've taken out student loans.
Transferring from an expensive, private university to a well-respected public institution could both save you money and lead you to just as many job opportunities.
3. Campus Life
Artis Gordon, the director of the Transfer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, said:
One of the biggest mistakes high school seniors make is selecting a college without visiting. The university feeling right is a huge factor in choosing a college.
Don't disregard campus culture; sometimes a college's feel just isn't for you.
Maybe you're at a city school and desire being in a “college town," or maybe small-town vibes aren't your thing, and you prefer a more urban setting.
When it comes to college, location matters.
4. Family Matters
If you need to be closer to home due to an ailing family member, then consider transferring.
Sometimes family matters must take priority over working toward your degree.
But if you think a family emergency may only require you to be gone for a short period of time, talk to your advisor about a leave of absence.
If you can't focus on your studies now, this option allows you to come back when you can.
5. Social Situations
Perhaps the academics are great and the campus is beautiful, but the people aren't for you.
There's nothing wrong with admitting that.
After all, the college experience isn't solely about academics.
Maybe your school is heavily populated by Greek life, and you'd prefer a university with less fraternities and sororities on campus.
Regardless of the reason, if your school doesn't socially fit your expectations, don't feel bad about exploring your options and transferring elsewhere.
Whatever the case for wanting to transfer, if the school is wrong for you, don't force yourself to fit in there.
College is more than classes and good grades.
It's about growing up, finding yourself and becoming independent for the first time in your young life.
So don't waste it being miserable at a school you have no desire to be at.
College is heavy time and financial investment, so why not spend that time at a place that truly makes you happy?