Transferring from your current college to a new one is a big deal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right move. In fact, if it’s done for the right reasons, transferring colleges might be the best decision you make for your education and career.
If you’re thinking about transferring colleges this year, check out this list of good (and bad) reasons for doing so.
Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You want to change majors.
Perhaps you chose your current college because it offers a top-notch business school; however, working as a camp counselor last summer helped you realize teaching is your life’s mission. If your current school doesn’t offer a degree program in education or whatever new course of study you choose, it could be time to transfer to a school that does.
Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re unsure about your major.
Maybe you’re in your sophomore year and still don’t have a clue what you want to major in. Transferring colleges offers you a chance to delay this important decision, but it also means you could lose credits and have to spend more money. Before packing your bags, have a heart-to-heart talk with your college advisor and ask for their input.
Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You don’t feel safe on campus.
College is your home away from home. If you truly don’t feel safe on campus, it’s time to transfer. While no school is 100 percent safe, some schools do a better job than others of keeping your well-being in mind. All colleges must report crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education, making it a great resource for comparing crime statistics of schools across the country.
Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re convinced your college campus is swarming with thieves.
No campus is crime free. Just because you left your laptop at the library and someone swiped it doesn’t mean there’s a crime problem at your school. Whether you transfer or not, keep these campus safety tips in mind and remember safety starts with you.
Good Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re graduating!
You’ve just completed coursework to earn your degree from a two-year college and you’re ready to hit a four-year college campus as a junior. Transferring to a larger, four-year school can take a bit of getting used to, but it won’t be long before you’re settled in and making new friends.
Bad Reason to Transfer Colleges: You’re bored.
The social life at community college has let you down and you’ve decided you want to party like a rock star at a four-year university. Slow down; there will be plenty of time to get your groove on. Meanwhile, why not form a club based on something you enjoy and meet other students with similar interests?
Good Reason to Transfer: The vibe isn’t right.
No matter how many times you visit campus before registering, you won’t really know if a college is a good fit for you until you’re a student there. If you’ve been trying for a few semesters but still don’t feel like you fit in, it might be time to transfer, especially if your grades (and spirit) are suffering.
Bad Reason to Transfer: Your BFF is changing schools and begs you to follow suit.
It’s always tough when a good friend transfers to a new school, but following him or her is probably not a smart move. If your dearest pal heads off to a new school, resist the urge to withdraw. Join a club, try intramural sports, or volunteer; do whatever it takes to keep meeting people. Eventually you’ll find a classmate you “click” with.
Good Reason to Transfer: You miss your family.
Many college-bound students can’t wait to be on their own, but a good number of students struggle with feeling homesick. If you come from a very close family, you might find transferring to a college closer to home creates the optimum balance between family and freedom.
Bad Reason to Transfer: You feel guilty about leaving your family and hate to let them down.
Some families are better than others at cutting the apron strings. If your family is distressed about your departure, video chat with them and tell them about campus activities. Eventually they’ll stop laying down the guilt trip and embrace your collegiate career.
Good Reason to Transfer: Tuition and living expenses are putting too much of a burden on you or your family.
If the cost of school and related expenses are more than you or your family can afford, or you’re racking up major student loans, transferring colleges might not be a bad idea. Chances are, you can find a school that offers the education and college experience you want without breaking the bank.
Bad Reason to Transfer: You have to work part-time and that’s a drag.
There’s no doubt that working a part-time job means there’s less time to socialize and take part in extracurricular activities, but it also forces you to get organized, stay on schedule, and prioritize competing demands. And guess what? Mastering those skills will help make you an attractive candidate to employers once you graduate.
Deciding to transfer colleges is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but if you think transferring will help you achieve your personal, academic, and career goals, it just might be the smartest move to make.
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