Why I Transferred

Okay so, it’s three in the morning and I’ve just got to get this off my chest. I might not even publish this. It’s about my college journey, and it’s not a happy story.

Basically, I transferred schools after my sophomore year of college. My original school, College of Charleston, was literally my dream school. It was the only school I ever wanted to go to, and if I hadn’t gotten in, I would have taken a gap year to try again, instead of settling for another school. I picked out my roommate (shoutout to Kelly) months ahead of time, and I had pinterest boards for how I was going to decorate my dorm room, and it was great.

Then I got there, and it was fine, but not the awesome college experience I had seen in movies that I had grown to expect. My friends were, pretty exclusively, my roommates. I’m not good at branching out and making friends, and that was no different at CofC. Second semester, Kelly left and I got another roommate. During that second semester, my new roommate decided that she wanted to leave, too. Then one of my other roommates, Kath (and my best friend ever since freshman year), decided that she was transferring, too. So I was watching all of my friends leave, and I had just signed up to live with a random set of roommates sophomore year.

Sophomore year came around after an amazing summer, and I tried so hard to fit in with my new roommates. It just didn’t work. They were friends from high school, and I was just the rando. We had nothing in common. They didn’t like me. I didn’t like them. They stole things from my room (RIP my camera and iPod) and let criminals stay with us for over a month at a time. (One of them let her step-brother stay with us before going to prison. He’s still in prison now, and will be for a very long time.) They purposefully hid things like toilet paper and toothpaste from me. And all this time, all of my friends were gone.

I went into a really, really dark place sophomore year. I was mad at my roommates, completely lonely and isolated, and confused, because I wasn’t loving my dream school anymore. There were periods where I would go days at a time without saying a single word to another person. I would stay in my room, not going to class or anything, for a week at a time on multiple occasions. Even just looking back on it two years later sends me to kind of a panicky place. I spent literally every night crying.

I wanted to drop out. Literally. Not even transfer. I didn’t want to even try anymore.  In sort of a last-ditch effort, I tried to get placed into a new housing situation, away from my terrible roommates. When that fell through, I called my mom crying, saying that I needed to leave. This is a time in my life that I actually don’t really remember. You know how, when someone goes through something traumatic, their mind tends to block it out? I literally can barely remember a lot of sophomore year, I think because it got blocked out. I developed acid reflux at this point from all the stress.

A real low point was my 20th birthday, which I spent completely alone.

I decided to transfer to USC, for a few reasons. One, because it was there. Honestly, that was my reasoning. I was furious with myself for not making the dream school work. But USC was an option, and I took it. Also, Kath, my best friend and former roommate lived there, and was offering me a place to live. I was so tired from the year- it was absolutely exhausting- that I didn’t want to have to expend any brain power deciding on a new school. Around March, I got involved with Tumblr Survivor (ilu guys) and started spending a lot of time on Skype, talking to people in LA, Toronto, wherever. I started getting really into watching YouTube videos, because I couldn’t take the silence anymore. I used to put Game Grumps on in the background for hours at a time, just so I didn’t have to be alone with my thoughts. I still do that. Things get too loud in my head when it gets too quiet.

Things slowly started to seem better and I could begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel that was my sophomore year. I had some good days. And a lot of really terrible days. But eventually, I packed up my room, sold back my books, and my dad came and helped me move home. Basically, a bit of advice from this: things don’t always work out. Lean into the curve. Find your friends where you can, even if that’s online. Learn how to be alone. It’ll get better.

And that’s the story of the literal worst year of my life.

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