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Student Question: I applied to transfer colleges, but now I'm not sure I want to. What should I do?

You are facing a big decision. It is completely natural to question whether this is the right step for you - change is hard. Although society expects you to make difficult decisions (such as where or what to study) quickly and correctly, this isn't how it often works in reality. Don't beat yourself up about it. Whether or not you end up studying in a new school is not a decision you have to make today or tomorrow; you have a few months to consider it. And being offered admission by a university doesn't mean you have to accept.

When I work with transfer students, I ask them to consider a few things: their personal values, the expectations they had for their university and major when they started, how those expectations and/or personal values aren't being met in their current program, and how those expectations and/or personal values will be met in a new university. Let me give you an example:

Personal values: Challenges; intellectual stimulation; growth; collaboration

The expectations you had for your current program: I wanted to study marketing at University X because it has a strong business reputation, and I looked forward to working under Professor Y. I expected a challenging and comprehensive education along with hands-on experience.

How are those expectations are NOT being met: The program is very easy for me, and I don't feel intellectually stimulated. While I thought I would be able to study under Professor Y and gain practical experience, he isn't able to work with undergraduate students. In fact, most of my marketing education has been book- and test-oriented, which doesn't align with my learning preferences.

How studying at University X will be better for me: Because University X offers Program Z, I will be able to work with my peers and professors in an experiential learning environment. I have reviewed the course load for marketing majors, and I know it will challenge me academically. 85% of students at University X are placed in business-related internships, so I know I will be able to grow my skills outside of the school setting.

Although I use this information to help my clients craft a strong transfer application, it's also a good process for self-discovery.

I suggest you consider these questions yourself. Think over your reasons for wanting to transfer. Be patient with yourself. And then wait for your offers of admission to come in. Once you have received your offers, then you can review the universities alongside your needs and goals. Ask yourself: Is this university a good fit for me? Why? Is the timing right for me? Dig deep on the university websites and to see if the school excites and inspires you. And remember there is no wrong decision. Although it might not feel like it now, whether or not you study in a different school is NOT going to completely determine the rest of your life. Your time as an undergraduate is merely one chapter in your life story. I wish you the best of luck! Feel free to contact me if you need help.

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