Mistakes I’ve Already Made as a Prospective Transfer Student

It’s honestly pretty awesome.

Suddenly, I feel more enthusiastic and determined than ever. I am so excited to create a new life for myself! I tell myself every ounce of work I do now puts me that much closer to joining a true architectural/design program. I wake up each day with my inner German woman yelling “Mach schnell! You’re burning daylight!” and I promptly jump out of bed and immerse myself into the world. I’ve got purpose, and a passion.

But surprisingly, the glorious life of someone who is trying to run from their current situation isn’t always peaches and cream.

Simply by adopting the mindset that “I won’t be here long,” any idea of “forever” fades away. I know this isn’t my true place, and I know that if I stay here longer than a year, I will be extraordinarily disappointed in myself. It’s hard to build bridges when you know they’re built on a very temporary foundation.

But hey, regardless of my situation, my painfully optimistic self demands that I make the most of my situation. I don’t think that wanting to transfer should take away from my experience at SU while it lasts. I’ve caught myself doing some silly things that have prevented me from being the best I can be, and from embracing my experiences here. Here’s what I have learned so far…

1.Don’t get so caught up in transferring, that you forget where you are.

At first, it was great. I caught a trace of hope on escaping a school where I don’t particularly feel at home with, and I found a path to take me to my passion. Just doing research on transferring was exciting.

Then I realized I was cutting myself off from my friends, my social experiences, and the opportunities for me right here. That’s just a bad plan right there. I need to live life, and be thankful for what I have. This is still a good school with some awesome people and some amazing opportunities. I’m working on keeping that in mind through it all. Enjoy life!

2. Make friends! Even if it might be short-lived.

Everyone tells me “college is where you meet people that you’ll be friends with for the rest of your life.”

Seeing as how I am still nineteen, I can’t prove this right or wrong, but there’s only one way to find out.

I have met some really awesome people here, and I am so thankful for people like my roommate, my friends from my study group, and a few other people I’ve found through various experiences.

Maybe they’ll last my whole life. Who knows? I hope they do. I really love them.

And even if they don’t, being a friendless student that spends all her time working, studying, or blogging isn’t that fun. We’re social creatures. We need each other.

3. Don’t forget to relax every once in a while.

Nobody ever says “Stop working hard.”

Hard work is awesome. Productivity? Go for it! Dreams don’t come true by chance. You’ve got to work for anything in this life. But we’re people, and we are imperfect beings. We all have limits. Don’t try to push that limit into the ground. It’s good to stretch out your wings and see how far you’ll go, but once you feel yourself growing exceedingly tired, or you even start getting physical aches, pains, or blurred thoughts from constantly working, it’s time to put the old horse down. Nice quiet weekends or sneaking in detours on your walks back from class just to enjoy nature are awesome ways to instantly energize yourself by resting.

I like to think of it like runners train. You can run far, fast, and often, but you need a rest day at least once a week so your body can recover, and build itself back up even stronger.

Maybe I just tell myself that to justify sleeping in on Saturdays…

4. Don’t change your entire lifestyle just for college apps.

Of course I want to get into a good school and build up a killer resume along with an impressive GPA, but I also want to be me.

I found myself trying to ask an admissions counselor how I can change myself to get into their school, then I realized, maybe I’m going a little too far.

Shaping your whole life around any one thing is just a bad idea. If you’ve got outside interests, hobbies, or aspirations, who’s to say you can’t do those things too? I can knit while watching historic dramas without deteriorating my possibilities of becoming an architect. If you like it, go for it!

Of course, make sure you’re doing what you need to be doing first, but don’t make that ALL you do. Be well rounded. Live spherically.

5. Always talking about transferring, or your plans for transferring, or how stressed you are about transferring.

Not to make all universities sound like cults, but people do generally show at least some disappointment when you mention “Yeah, it’s not like anything matters, I’m not staying here or anything.” Not that you’d say it that bluntly… hopefully. But don’t plaster your plans for leaving on every surface.

Regardless of how much you may or may not like your current university, the idea that you’re leaving already makes it seem like you don’t like where you’re at. It can bring people down, and turn people off from the possibility of developing stable friendships with you. Don’t jump into it right off the bat.

Yeah, lure them in, make them love you forever, then tear it all away!

Okay don’t do that either. Let them give you a chance first if that makes any sense.

Especially with professors.

6. Unless you’re transferring outside of your control, don’t set your heart on leaving.

Heaven forbid, life changes!

Maybe you’ll find something else at your university and fall in love with it. Or maybe you’ll find awesome opportunities that you don’t want to leave. Having an opened mind lets you live more fully, and in the case that something does change, you won’t be fixated on something that may not be the best for you in the long run.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

-A very wise person in my life

And sometimes, the worst turns out to be the best!

Keep your head up!

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