We all have an image in our head of how we pictured our college experience when we were in high school. I’ve always known what kind of college I wanted to attend. I wanted a big school, football team, and Greek life. Instead listening to my gut, and going to the school I always wanted to go to, I let others influence my decision. I let money play too big of a role, I let biased family members dictate my decision making, and I did not do my research enough.
I had narrowed it down to two schools. University of Oregon, the big school that had everything to offer me, and a small Christian school in Arizona. I wasn’t too fond of the idea of a small school, but my 18-year-old self was ready to fly the coop. I wanted a fresh new experience, with people I didn’t know, in a sunny town far, far away.
The first school I went to was not what I wanted. It wasn’t even what I imagined because I hadn’t even visited it – embarrassing I know. I made a few friends, joined the cheer team, but it still didn’t make me happy. I knew this place was not my forever home. It was too small. Everyone was judgmental. Everyone would go home on the weekends. There was not anything fun to do. It simply was not a college town.
I wasn’t happy.
I hated it there. I wanted to get out but I felt like I was stuck and like I wouldn’t have any friends if I left. My friends told me to suck it up, and to just make the best of it. They told me to look at the bright side. My mom told me how much money I was getting by staying there. Basically, no one was on my side. Everyone was telling me I was wrong and no one was supporting me. Guess what? Instead of listening to the nah sayers I did something. I LEFT, and guess what? It was one of the best decisions I have ever made to this day.
I finally got to my dream a short year later, the University of Oregon aka the Promise land. I was so excited to start making friends, going drinking, and maybe join a sorority. The result? A judgmental house full of self-righteous Christians, classes that I hated, and nothing to do on a Saturday night. I thought I had failed. I was kicking myself for ever leaving GCU. If this was supposed to be amazing, why did I feel like shit?
After spring break a new semester started, and I saw that a couple of sororities were doing informal recruitment. I was only interested in one, and could only make the dates of one, I went and ate pizza and talked to some really cool girls. Wow, I would love to be here I thought to myself…guess what? I got a bid! When I got the call I started jumping around. I was so excited!
That spring was amazing, I joined a sorority, had my 21st birthday, made new friends, and went out all the time, and even met a cute boy I really liked. It was AMAZING. I simply did not want to leave. I remember packing my bags to go home for the summer, I was so sad. Because this simply was the most amazing time of my life. The next year followed in suite.
If you’re not happy at your current school you have the power to change that! Transfer schools, if you know there is another that will make you happier and is a better fit. Don’t let people discourage you, don’t’ let others think they know what is best for you. I can’t promise it will be easy, but what I can promise is eventually it will pay off and you will be glad you did it! When I look back on my college experience I wouldn’t change it for the world. I made some great friends at GCU, but U of O is where the magic happened. I have so many great memories. I’m so glad I transferred schools because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have had the best part of my life thus far be my college experience.
Featured image via SKICKS.