Hi, I’m Diana and this is the story of how I transferred to a new school – 3,000 miles way, and as a junior.
I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. After high school the natural decision for me was to stay home for college, since I didn’t feel ready to leave my hometown just yet. Although I was eager to go somewhere new and meet new people and experience new things, I just couldn’t imagine being so far away from my family (the nearest state to Alaska is Washington, which is a three-hour flight away, so my options were limited, to say the least). It took a couple of years for me to finally build up the courage to leave my home state, but I finally did it. It was a great decision, and maybe my story will inspire some of you to transfer to a new school too!
Right after high school, I enrolled at the University of Alaska Anchorage and decided to major in health sciences. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew that I would do something in healthcare. I was also afraid to take on too many classes at once, because I had heard many horror stories about being stressed out with the college coursework. Because of this, I decided to be a part-time student for the first year. The first year went by slowly and without too much excitement. It was a big change from high school - no big, exciting football games, no big dances or events, and overall, not a whole lot of school spirit. On top of this, many of my friends and old classmates had moved out of state to go to college, so I found myself spending most of my free time by myself.
The next year went by, and I realized that I wasn’t very happy with where I was at in life - both physically and emotionally. I realized that I had expected different things from college, and I was having second thoughts about my major. Through social media and word of mouth, I heard how my old classmates’s college experiences were going, and frankly, I got a little jealous. They were going to events that looked really fun, were able to travel to different places on the weekends and school breaks, and were meeting lots of new people. They were all having the college experience that I had pictured for myself. My school had also begun to undergo budget cuts, which caused problems for the students. Professors were let go, academic programs were cut, and tuition began to rise. The main reason I had stayed at home was to save money, and now I was having to pay more for fewer resources. I knew I needed to make a change.
In my third year of college, I began to truly find my way. I changed my major to psychology after realizing that I loved to learn about the mind and human behavior. I also decided to become a physician, and began to look at schools in states that had a medical school (which was almost every other state besides Alaska). At the same time, my family was contemplating moving out of the state, and we decided that it would be good for all of us to make the jump together. After trying out a couple of states on multiple trips, we decided on Colorado as our new home. My sister and I were accepted to the University of Colorado Denver, and were set to begin fall 2017; her as a freshman and me as a transfer student.
I’ve been a student at my new school for a couple of weeks now, and I couldn’t be any happier. CU Denver offers many resources and programs, there’s a medical school nearby, and I’ve met some great people. I also love the freedom of being near multiple states, so travel will be easier and much cheaper than it used to be. I feel like my new school works well with the plan that I’ve set for myself after completing my bachelor’s degree, and it’s nice to be in a new environment.
Even though I debated making the jump to a new place for a long time, I am truly glad that I did. I do miss home sometimes, but life isn’t about staying in your comfort zone forever - it’s about taking chances and experiencing new things. Being a transfer student is definitely a little scary. It’s not very fun to be the new kid again, but it can be pretty exciting. If you’re contemplating life at a different school, do it! Change is hard, but it can be great, trust me.
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