Transfer Students and Those Changing Their Major
uI don’t feel like there is a lot of discussion within the academic world about those of us who made the tough decision to change majors or, in some cases, even transfer schools. Often we’re expected to perform to the same degree and advance just as quickly as everyone else. So I guess this is why I’m writing this: to offer a word of comfort and encouragement for those of us who have hidden struggles…
You are not stupid. I know when you’re taking gen eds or prerequisite classes and you’re sitting in a room full of younger students its easy to feel dumb. I always feel like I’m academically and mentally slower than everyone else because I’m a junior in university and yet surrounded by freshmen and sophomores. But I promise this is a fault of the education system and NOT a sign of weakness or being more stupid than others. It is not your fault our education system requires an ungodly amount of general credits. You are smart, you are not less than your peers for being behind in the “normal” pace of university.
You made the right choice. I say as if I’m not constantly debating my decision every single day. I think others don’t realise how hard it is to make that leap from one major to another, or one school to another. It’s tough, and it tends to set us back by about a semester or two, and the more I change my major the more I feel like my parents and others don’t take me as seriously with my studies. But I promise, I truly truly promise that you had a reason for making that change. You hold on to what made you change, because change can be scary but often its for the best. For me, I switched from an engineering major to film because I realised I couldn’t do a job that paid well but that I was miserable in. I still have times when I regret doing that, but ultimately I know it was for the best and I matured through that experience.
You will find your peers one day. By peers I mean people who are the same age as you but they are all taking higher-level classes because they knew earlier on what they wanted to major in. I still haven’t met many who are a junior and in film because I still have to take entry level classes. And yeah it sucks. But there are clubs on campus, or I can ask my advisor or the professors within my major to help me reach out to my peers. I may not be on the same level as them, but we’d all be working towards a common major. You’ll find your group some day.
You are not a financial burden to people. I keep telling myself this day after day and it never seems to sink in. I was raised in a poor family so money has always been an extreme source of stress. When I changed majors and gave up the well-paying career path I was distraught. Even more so when it became clear I’m going to be graduating as a super-senior and won’t be able to follow the “normal” college pace of 4 years. It’s tough being told you still have gen eds to get through which will cost even more money and slows you down. So people like us will need jobs and can’t have the luxury of non-paying internships. And maybe we’ll still stress about how to pay for those extra years of study. But just keep your head up and apply for that FAFSA or student aid equivalent and keep going! I’m not saying its easy, but don’t let costs be the only deciding factor for your education. This is about YOU, what YOU want to do with your life!
Okay this is getting long so I’ll just wrap up by saying: You are amazing! You are wonderful and valuable and you are not a burden or a disgrace! Your life has meaning and one day all of these hardships will be worth it! I know its tough and it hard and unfairly expensive but we just gotta keep going. We just gotta keep doing our thing and holding on to what we want out of life. <3
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