Why I Transferred Colleges + My Experience

Why I Transferred Colleges + My Experience

One of the most common questions I get asked is why I decided to transfer colleges. I left a Big10 university, so why I would want to commute to GVSU?

As a lot of you know, I previously attended the University of Iowa. From the second my campus tour started, my mom looked at my dad and whispered, “She’s already packed her bags.” And it’s true, I had. Any college that I would look at next would have to beat Iowa and any school I had previously toured couldn’t compare. 

I applied, was accepted, and ended up with the most ideal roommate situation. One was one of my best friends from home and one was a complete stranger. I had the best of both worlds. (*cues Hannah Montana music*)

I went through all of the things that make it a true Big10 experience. I rushed a sorority, I would tailgate in the early morning, and I went out with my friends late at night. But part of me just wasn’t fully there. I wasn’t really homesick, but I wasn’t feeling like I was building a home at Iowa.

During my Winter break, it really started to hit me. My family had moved into our new house in Grand Haven and I remember laying in my bed with my dog, listening to Christmas music and thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t think Iowa is where I’m supposed to be.”

And I started freaking out. Bad.
“I can’t change schools.” “No one does that.” “Where would I even go??”

These thoughts just kept running through my head. One day while out running errands with my mom I asked if she would drive past Grand Valley. She was shocked, but happily drove that way home.

I previously applied and had been accepted to GV as a senior, and even had family who previously attended. However, I never toured and basically crossed it off my list after my Iowa tour.

We drove through and I fell in love. I remember feeling so excited  – I could have class downtown in the city and on a traditional campus. It was still a big school, so I wouldn’t be losing that big college feel I learned to love at Iowa. I felt confident that their health science and business programs were ranked really well. (I hadn’t switched my major yet, for more on that read my article on why it’s 100% okay to change your major.)

But then we got home and I was still on the fence.

I didn’t want to have to make new friends and feel like the new kid all over again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be commuting to college. It made sense to live at home and not in an apartment off-campus. I would be saving a ton of money being in state for tuition purposes and not having to pay for housing. But, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to be literally living under my parents roof again.

A lot of big events happened in the months leading up to my final decision to transfer. I was heartbroken telling all of my friends at Iowa the news. I didn’t want to stay at Iowa, but I did want to take them all with me. A lot of the girls in my sorority were really sweet and supportive. I’m still so glad I can still call them my sisters. My friends from my dorm were insanely incredible. I still get all the updates on what’s new with the 7th floor fam.

Then, there was a turning point.

When I got home, I had a message waiting for me from my new school. My advisor from GV literally called my home phone to make sure I was all settled in and ready to go for my transfer orientation. I was so touched and knew that I was making the right decision.

Now, I’m not going to lie. The first few months were a little rough. Meeting people as a commuting transfer student was harder than I thought. But, I joined Love Your Melon, started hanging out with people outside of class, and ended up having a really great sophomore year.

But really, what’s commuting and living at home like?

Living at home isn’t so bad. I’m lucky that I’m really close with my family, so that definitely helps. (Although my brothers can still be pains sometimes.) If I want to go out with my friends, my parents get it and have been amazing about really giving me my space and letting me be a college kid. And I’m not gonna lie it’s been so so nice having my mom there to vent to and having home cooked meals!

I’m so excited for my next few years, and if it wasn’t for Grand Valley I don’t know if I would have figured out that I was meant for a different major. (But that’s a story for another day!) I am so thankful for all of my LYM girls for welcoming me with open arms and for making my transition to GVSU so much better, and to Lauren for being my biggest cheerleader and one of my first friends at GV. (Welcome to LYM, btw!!)

Junior year, we’re ready for you!!

If you ever have any questions on college or transferring please feel free to reach out to me, I’m more than happy to offer advice and talk about my experiences.

Abby Schuster
Abby Schuster

Abby is the founder and editor-in-chief at Abundance of Abby. Right now she’s most likely snuggled up with her dog while watching Mad Men or hiking the West Michigan sand dunes with her family.
Find her and this blog on social media @abbymayschuster 📷


    • abundanceofabby
      July 11, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you!! I hope that your transfer experience has been a positive one❤️

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