Kathryn Lindsay
Updated July 25, 2015 5:02 am

Did I pick the right college? What if I don’t like it? What if I made a decision that ruins my life for the next four years? If you’re someone who’s headed off to college next month, these are the questions that are probably haunting you. What I have to say to that is: breathe. And so does a recent study conducted by the non-profit National Student Clearinghouse Research Center which found that 1/3 of all college students will transfer schools at some point during their education.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s likely you won’t like your school, but that it’s normal if you end up figuring out that it’s not the best fit for you. You shouldn’t be expected to tough it out in an environment that you don’t feel gives you the best education, and you don’t have to. The study surveyed over 3.6 million students, 37.2 percent of which transferred, some more than once!

Doug Shapiro, executive director of the Research of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, spoke on this trend, saying, “Students just don’t see institutions as permanent homes for all their education needs anymore. They’re going to move around.” What seems to be the most common is students transferring during their second year. They likely go from a 2 or 4-year public institution to another, moving across state lines or merging into a larger program.

Whatever the specifics, listening to your gut is definitely the right choice. According to Shapiro, because this kind of things is so common, the next step for schools is to make the process easier. It’s likely that a student who wants to transfer will run into snags regarding credits and requirements, but with such a large number of students making this choice, schools are bound to become more accommodating to the process.

Only you know what’s best for you, so whatever choices you make, know that your happiness is what’s most important!

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