After a year and a half in college, I started to realize how unhappy and out of place I felt. I was at a larger school in the south with a football team, a Greek system, the works. I had made a few good friends and done well in some classes, got plenty of playing time on the soccer team, but it wasn’t ideal. I went into college with this expectation that everything would be great. I thought I would make a ton of close friends, ace all my classes, be a successful student athlete, and love everything about the university I chose to attend.
I was homesick. My coach and I did not see eye to eye. The class sizes were so big that my professors never knew my name. I was choosing to sleep in and skip more than I was choosing to go to class. I was choosing to avoid new people rather than making an effort. This was not the me I knew, I had always been a good hardworking student and a social butterfly, so something had to change. I decided to start to explore other options.
I decided to transfer to a much smaller, liberal arts private university in Florida, a little over an hour from my home town. This was the completely opposite situation and atmosphere of my previous school. Although I loved the school, there were some tough things to deal with as a transfer student.
When I first arrived, I was told to attend freshman events to get to know other people and the campus. I felt so uncomfortable. I was older than the freshman. I had already been there and done that. I knew how things worked. I went anyways and gritted my teeth and stood in the corner, people watching at the freshman welcome party.
Not all of my classes transferred. I had to retake some general education courses and a few for my major. I had to red shirt a season of soccer because not everything transferred over so I was not technically considered a full time student for one semester. My first summer at my new school I had to take classes, something I had never done before. I had to sit on the bench all season long, something else I had never done before. It was painful.
The group of friends I got close with had been besties since freshman year. They openly welcomed me, but it felt different. I wasn’t a part of their inside jokes. I wasn’t around to witness all their awkward freshman hook-ups. I wasn’t there to lend a shoulder to cry on when they were missing home. I was the new girl.
My class sizes were much smaller. Not only did my professors know my name, they expected me to answer questions and participate on a daily basis. This ended up being great, but it took some getting used to. The classes only allowed a few (2 or 3) absences a semester before they started deducting from your overall grade. Also something that took some getting used to. The whole experience was a transition.
There were a few small bumps in the road but I adjusted quickly. The friends I made are my best friends still to this day. I rarely keep in touch with the friends I made at my first school. I had a successful career as a student athlete and was captain senior year. I become close with my coach and even babysat her kids. We played a game against my old team and my old coach refused to shake my hand after the game. He was a real class act. My grades improved drastically. I loved my classes and my professors became my mentors. I no longer needed to drop any classes or worry about failing. I never slept in or skipped. I met the love of my life. I traveled and studied abroad to places I would have never gone on my own.
I look forward to one day attending and playing in the alumni game, seeing my old teammates and professors, and walking around campus reminiscing. The first school I attended is now just a distant memory and something of the past. Transferring schools was one of the best decision I’ve ever made. I found my place.