The college you choose may not be the college that will help you meet your goals. Listed are 10 signs you should transfer colleges so you can get closer to the goals you’ve set for yourself.
The acceptance letters came and Jack made his choice to attend the University of Washington. It was close enough to home that he could still practice and gig with his band and they had a music program!
Jack was full of hope and excitement for this new journey! He spent a year, during the pandemic, studying from home and he was ready to start his sophomore year on campus, living the dorm life.
He checked out the dorms and found the ones that had practice rooms and were close to the music hall. Even better, he was able to get a room with a bathroom in one of the dorms with practice rooms!
We gathered all the supplies he would need, loaded my husband’s truck, and headed to the move-in line at the UW. The line was fast and efficient. There were plenty of students there to help with move-in. Jack’s room was nice and he had a great roommate.
However, even though the year started off with high hopes, Jack was miserable. He struggled with his choice of college and even more with his own inner turmoil that didn’t want to be a college dropout.
Here Are 10 Signs You Should Transfer Colleges
1. Your physical health is declining.
Your health matters. Take a bit of time to assess if the situation you’re in is detrimental to your health and, if it is, can it be overcome? You may not see your own health declining so it’s important to reach out or listen to those close to you regarding your health.
When Jack was at the UW, the dining halls were short-staffed and students were waiting in line for an hour to get their food, for every meal. One time, Jack waited in line for an hour before he was told they were out of food and he had to go find another place to wait in line. Because of this, we started loading Jack up with food every week so he could make his own food, in his room, but we could see his physical health declining as he was too caught up in his misery to take care of himself.
2. You don’t get into the major you had hoped for.
Some universities allow you to enter as your selected major, others have an application process, and many do a combination of both where some students enter with their selected major and others have to fight for it.
Jack had a hard time getting into the classes he wanted to take so he ended up taking classes just to fit the credits he needed. They were not classes he was interested in.
Then, he applied to the music school and was denied entrance.
3. Your mental health is taking a nosedive.
It never ceases to amaze me how many parents are adamant that their kids stick it out when they are clearly suffering. Your mental health is incredibly important and should be treated that way. This would be a good time to decipher whether this too shall pass or your situation will not allow you to thrive.
Every week, Jack would catch a ride home with a friend so he could attend youth group and practice with his band.
Each Monday morning, I would take him back to campus. He was miserable on those rides back.
He couldn’t use the practice rooms in the music hall unless he was accepted into the music school. The practice rooms in his dorm, which he was so excited about, were never available. Students used the practice rooms to get personal space and to make phone calls. Many times he would carry his guitar down the elevator, to the practice rooms, but was never actually able to use one.
Even though Jack came home each weekend, I still put together care packages for him so he could have something to look forward to! On one occasion, he said the package came at just the right time.
4. You find yourself skipping classes.
When you aren’t interested in what you’re studying, your physical health is suffering, and your mental health is rapidly declining, you may find that going to class is the last thing you want to do.
Living the dorm life wasn’t what Jack had hoped it would be. His classes weren’t anything he was interested in and oftentimes he chose to sleep in instead of going to class.
5. Your grades are dropping.
I think it’s pretty normal when you don’t like a class to not care about it too much. Of course, when you don’t care about a subject matter you won’t want to put much effort into it which means your grades will suffer.
Jack wasn’t eating well, he started to skip classes, and his grades started to drop.
6. You have no idea why you are there.
If you start second-guessing yourself and the college choice you made, it’s hard not to wonder why you’re spending the prime years of your life there, in that situation. A situation you don’t want to be in.
Jack really wanted to make the UW work. He wrestled with himself and the next steps he should take. He had dreamed of living in Seattle and majoring in music but the reality was harsh. We had many conversations on those rides back to Seattle. The conversations were mostly me listening to him work through his options and beating himself up that the UW just wasn’t working and he didn’t want to fail at the whole college thing.
7. Walking around campus doesn’t bring you joy.
If you dread leaving your dorm room and have no desire to explore or be a part of campus life, maybe it isn’t the right school for you.
“I can’t breathe when I’m there” Jack would tell me. “Music is how I breathe and I can’t play when I’m there.”
8. You have no idea what you want to go to school for.
Unless you’re happy getting a general degree, there’s no reason to go to college without aim. If you have your mind set on a particular major and the writing is on the wall that it won’t happen for you at your chosen school, you have big choices to make. Are you willing to change your major so you can attend your chosen school or would you rather change your school so you can reach your personal goals?
Jack considered switching his major and sticking it out just to get a degree but knew it would be a miserable three years. With our encouragement, after the first quarter of his sophomore year, Jack decided to leave the UW.
9. Tuition is more than you can afford.
The tuition amount is a huge factor in your decision to stay in school. If you are footing the bill yourself and will be strapped with student loans for years to come you might want to consider a school that is more reasonably priced.
My husband and I weren’t excited to pay for a miserable college experience that didn’t help Jack meet his goals and encouraged him to take some time to figure out what he wanted to do.
10. You have a better option.
You may have found yourself hit with shiny object syndrome when it came to choosing a school but quickly discovered that another school fits your needs better.
In the midst of Jack’s decision-making, he discovered Berklee School Of Music Online. He took a few classes and they were exactly what he was hoping for! Classes that met requirements but were focussed on music!
Jack applied to Berklee Online’s Bachelor of Arts in Songwriting and Producing Music degree and prayed that if this was the right path for him that he would be accepted.
Two weeks later, he was accepted to Berklee Online’s Bachelor of Arts in Songwriting and Producing Music degree program!
These signs you should transfer colleges are to help guide you in making one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. The only right decision is the one you make!
It’s okay to change your course in life. Don’t get stuck on the notoriety of a school or how others might perceive you. The only person that matters in this decision is you.
Jack doesn’t regret leaving the UW and knows it was the best choice for him! Instead of changing his major to fit the school, he pivoted and changed his school to fit his goals!