I applied to 15 colleges my senior year of high school and ended up at a big party school out of state.
But today, I am one year away from graduating from a college that I hadn’t applied to or even knew existed in high school.
At my first school, I was content. I was a lacrosse player with a solid group of friends, and I coasted through my huge intro classes.
After the summer though, I realized that I was sleepwalking through college. I did not know what I wanted to major in or do after school. Most importantly, I wasn’t challenging myself.
My decision to come to the University of Mary Washington (umw.edu) was inspired by the growth I saw in my best friend from high school. She had the opportunity to engage her college experience, meet people and discover her passions.
Since transferring colleges to UMW, I’ve had countless opportunities within my reach. I decided to give up playing lacrosse for the opportunity to discover my other passions and set a direction for where I was heading in my life.
I’ve had the chance to be in a show choir and improv comedy team, join student senate, dance in the Performing Arts Club, lead and be an activist for The White Ribbon Campaign on campus, present at conferences with my professors, and so much more. This past March, I was elected vice president of the Student Government Association.
I feel like I’ve gotten more in my two years since transferring colleges than most people have in four years.
My advice to anyone transferring colleges is to see it as an opportunity to reignite your interests and discover your passions. More importantly, find a way to continue pursuing your passions after you graduate. Keep the same drive to meet new friends, join new clubs, explore a new environment, engage and give back to your school that you had the first day you became a college student.
If you foster that same open-minded curiosity far past your first semester, you’ll discover a college that is ready to engage you back and help you grow. You will get so much more of an education, and that’s what you’re going to remember the most when you look back through your experiences.