My senior year of high school, I was a MESS. I didn’t have my life together. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I enrolled in a community college my freshman year and decided I would just stick out the first two years there, save some money, and then transfer when I was ready… sounds like a great plan, right?
LOL! WRONG. Nothing against community colleges. They really are a very good decision if you are unsure about what you want to do, and want to save money. For me, being at home made me absolutely miserable. I would go to school, work, and then home, every single day, with nothing in between. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of boredom, and fell into a deep sadness and depression; while all of my friends were having the time of their lives at school, I was sitting at home, doing nothing different than I had in high school. I am the type of person who needs to interact with others and be involved, and I just felt like I had no opportunity at my school. Everyone was there to get their school work done, and go home. I stuck out the first year, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a change, and fast.
I was so scared about transferring out after my first year, because I knew that everyone had already made their freshman year friends, and sophomore year would be such an awkward time to transition to a new place where I didn’t know anyone. I had always LOVED Rutgers, and it was always a school that I could see myself going to. So, I figured, “Hey, why not just apply. Probably won’t get in anyway, but I’ll give it a shot.” Well, surprise! I got in, and I was more confused than ever.
I was so used to my depressing every day routine that going to a school like Rutgers scared the crap out of me. I mean that is a HUGE transition. I contemplated back and forth for such a long time, before realizing that I needed to just go for it. As much as I feared being judged because I didn’t know anyone, or the insane transition from a school of 3,000 to 50,000, I had to do what would make me happy, and I knew it wasn’t staying there.
Let me tell you, that was the best decision of my life. I was so nervous about finding a roommate, and when I decided to go random, I was even more freaked out. My roommate is now one of my closest friends. We’re even rooming together again next year! The fear of being judged and not knowing anyone went right out the window. I became friends with a lot of people in my major, and I rushed a sorority a week after I transferred in. Through that, I found my best friend, and a bunch of people I can always lean on. I joined the dance company, which gave me something to do on boring Monday and Wednesday nights. Schoolwork is so much harder, gotta admit. But it is beyond worth it. I did all of this within the first week, and after the first month or so I was completely established in the school, and I made it my own. It’s crazy to think that I was so nervous about it before. Kind of funny actually, because looking back now from who I was then to who I have become, I am a completely different person, in the best way possible.
So, for those of you that are in the position I was, GO FOR IT! Don’t be afraid to transfer because of the horror stories you may hear, or the fear that you will be alone in a big school. College is what you make of it, and if you make it great, it will change your life. Get involved right away, join clubs and make friends in your classes. Join a sorority. You have no idea how much that helped me feel at home. (It’s nice to have a small group to call your family in a school of 50,000 people). No matter what, don’t be afraid to take the jump and start a new chapter in your life. I have never been happier than I’ve been this past year at Rutgers, and it is all because I pushed myself to take that jump!