In my personal experience, the process of transferring from one college to another has been a tumultuous journey that has caused me to reassess my goals and how I live my life. I started the college application process in my senior year of high school with a lower than acceptable GPA, and thus settled at a university well below the standards I fabricated for myself.
If I knew then what I knew now, I would have stayed put, as just having a degree at all puts you well above the competition, and it is more about the person than the institution that issues the degree. I thought my future depended upon aligning myself with the prestige of a well known college more than it depended on what I accomplished while I was there.
Academically the work became increasingly less interesting due to the fact that I would often have to retake classes for formal credit at a new school, ascertaining the feeling of never being able to lift up off the ground and make progress.
Through mundane paperwork, credits lost via transfer and ensuing academic setbacks during my journey through five colleges and counting, I was forced to take a step back and evaluate what my goals really were. No longer could I clutch to my previous train track of ambition, as intangibles have pushed the locomotive off track and through unknown territory.
Through this experience I have learned more than I had previously known possible about independent thought and how to differentiate true needs and wants from those created by the outside environment. Though negative at times, delving more and more into independent thought processes exposed many fraudulent qualities of my life and helped me to forge a new more rewarding path in life.
Besides the obvious benefit of travel, living in multiple locations was an educational experience in the sense that I now know how similar people across the country really can be, and conversely, how seemingly familiar locations can often be the most off-putting.
The biggest drawback outside of the academic world was developing relationships with the knowledge that they will soon end, in one way or another, without a chance to fully develop. I have since forced myself away from this kind of thinking because I feel it is unwise to live life in order to please somebody else. At least so far in my life, the things that need to come around full circle usually do, albeit eventually.
As I near the end of my unnecessarily long college experience I find it interesting how much I have matured through apparent stagnancy, and how much progress I have made personally through perceived failure.
However I believe the most important fragment of wisdom I picked up is the importance of gradual movement forward, and how little things stack up. Cutting corners is no longer a part of my repertoire, thanks to my own personal hell spent traveling from city to city, saying more goodbyes than hellos.
Through the tribulations, comes the eventual maturation, regardless of the route taken.