WHY I TRANSFERRED (And should you, too?)
Transferring. Do I stick out the year, am I really just homesick, and also, what the hell am I doing with my life? Oh yeah, btw, those thoughts aren't yours. They are the thoughts of every SINGLE college person out there. I'm with you.
My freshman year, I went to FIT. I'm ready for the next question. What's FIT?
The Fashion Institute of Technology. Yes, a fashion school. And no, I did not go to be a fashion designer. FIT had the only major in the country for "Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing." Pretty much, the business side of beauty. If you know me, you know me as Madleigh Makeup, and beauty has been my thing since day 1 (props to you if you read the "about" section). My lifelong dream was to be a makeup artist, and I thought that going to a creative school and having a backup for makeup artistry in the beauty industry I loved would be a great pair. Also, FIT was the cheapest college in Manhattan.
I loved telling people I would be studying in Manhattan at a very unique college. I loved feeling different. People were excited for me, and my family and friends were proud to see what I would do. I was excited to throw myself into a new world and see how I could thrive.
But, unfortunately, I didn't thrive like I hoped.
Immediately, so many things didn't vibe with my soul. First of all, the school was a one-street campus (27th & 7th). There was no sense of community, and everyone was too focused on career to make friends. No one went to clubs or events, people rarely talked in classes or the dorms, and there wasn't any school pride. Also, it was a fashion school that attracted people from all over the world, adding to the culture shock that was New York City. Yes, I went to therapy twice a week just to make it through. And, yes, I cried to my amazing, supportive parents every day. Anyways, it wasn't about being home. It wasn't homesickness, but the school created a complete disconnection from who I was and what I wanted from a school. I wanted late nights and laughter and dorm parties. I wanted college from the movies.
Everyone told me to stick it out a year, but my intuition told me no. Go where you can thrive.
And I did. I went home. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was a decision that needed to be made. I am currently studying at the University of Minnesota, and I am 2 weeks in. And I already love it. The community is amazing, there are so many clubs that interest me, and the school pride is off the charts. I get the late nights and laughter and dorm parties. I feel at home and like myself again.
If you are a transfer, you will find your place. And please, don't feel like a failure. I look back and realize that FIT was the best thing that happened to me because I grew in places I didn't know I could. I became more comfortable with myself, dealt with being lonely, adjusted to a crazy city, and I learned coping skills. I learned what I wanted and didn't want, and right there, is my thanks to FIT. My thanks to my path. And, PROPS to all of you who learned to cope with the difficult. You are growing and becoming.
So, are you thinking about transferring or confused on choosing a college?
This is what you should think about:
1. Type of college experience you want
A big ten experience? A small, private school? A religious school? Technical?
2. Majors that are offered
Does the college have your potential majors?
Does community matter to you? What do you want that to look like? My friend Gabby loves FIT because her idea of college is a different version than mine. FIT is a great school, but didn't have the community I personally needed.
Big? Small? A small school will have a more particular type of person, smaller classes, and it might be easier to meet friends and know people. But, a big school will have every type of person available and a lot more things going on.
You don't need to choose a college based on where you want to live after, because you can't decide that now. Also, don't escape to the other side of the country just because your parents annoy you. Do you like where you live? Are you more of a city or beach person? Make sure the school feels right, not just the location. Honestly, I can't stress how much I love being 15 minutes from home and being able to get my stuff back and forth.
In the end, it doesn't matter if your college is a 10 minute drive or a 10 hour flight. Go where you feel like you can be you. I was afraid that leaving New York would diminish my chances at being able to be in the beauty world, but my mental health won the race of importance. It may be harder in MN to achieve my goals, but I know that I will work for my dreams and I will get there.
Remember, it's your life and you are the one who continues down this road with you. So make this life one that lifts you. And make choices that support YOU.
Wherever you go, there you are. And here you are. Where will you go?
P.S. S/o to the people who got me through this hectic semester :)