This week I thought I would write about transferring schools. I’m starting to know more people who are thinking about doing the same thing so hopefully this will provide some insight :). It was around this time last year when I had the idea to transfer so it makes this the perfect flashback. Enjoy!
I’m currently at UWO (Western University/University of Western Ontario/whatever they call themselves now) after spending a year at UTSG (University of Toronto, St. George Campus). To clarify, I’m a second year student, but I’m a “first year” at Western. Basically, I thought the stress of moving to Toronto from Vancouver wasn’t enough so I decided to reward myself with more stress by moving from Toronto to London.
Since UTSG has always been my dream university, I never thought I would leave so soon. I mean, I even packed my many, many, MANY, bags and waved good-bye to good ol’ rainy Vancity whilst saying, “see yah later, suckahs”. So if that was the case, what made me break up with my dream school? I guess it’s important to first understand that I was applying to Ontario schools while sitting comfortably in my chair in beautiful British Columbia. Yeah… not the most accurate way to choose your universities if you’ve never even been there and you’re just looking at the pretty pictures from the brochures. Oh, and seeing websites like these, especially if you have asian parents. Don’t get me wrong, UofT is an amazing school. The problem wasn’t the school… it was me. (“Babe, it’s not you… it’s me…”)
When people ask me what motivated me to transfer, I associate it with two things: fate and Jennifer. After Jen came to UofT to visit me (really, she was there to watch the Lady GaGa concert but I like to think of it as her missing me too much), she suggested that I visit her at Western (maybe she asked to be nice but I went anyway #Oops #YesIAmTHATGirl). We agreed on a specific weekend that was good for the two of us. However, as life would have it, apparently everyone thought that was a good weekend to visit their friends at Western so the prices were close to the hundos for round trip. Obviously I had no intention of working on the streets with my body parts hanging out anytime soon, I ended up purchasing the cheapest round-trip tickets to London for some random weekend. Turns out, it wasn’t a random weekend. It was the weekend that would change the course of my life forever (let’s envision the word “forever” echoing for dramatic effects).#DramaQueenHour
Since I didn’t have class on Fridays (God bless you, Professor Pesando), I tagged along to Jen’s first year business class #1220 (yes, the nerd that I am went on vacation away from school only to go to class at another school). So here I am, walking into her small @$$ business class with everyone staring at me with their eyes saying “she doesn’t even go here” (Mean Girls style). I fell in love with the class because not only does the professor knows your name, you also get to participate!!! #NerdAlert
It blew my mind that university classes had the potential to be that small. You might not think none of those things sound appealing, but trust me, when your business class consists of 1, 500 people, it felt good to be noticed. Quite frankly, if you miss a class at that size, nobody really gives a damn.
I also got the chance to visit my friend Sahil (we met on exchange!).
He got me to try a shawrama for the first time. Oh. My. God. I was in heaven. When I took that first bite, my brain had to legitimately fight with itself to decide what I like most: shawrama or sushi (sushi eventually won but it was SO close you have no idea). Anyway, it was good to see SASA again because the last time I saw him was probably in Turkey.
On Saturday, Jen convinced me to go to some fashion show with her. Since I had no reason to say no, I bought a ticket with her and attended the show. Turns out, it wasn’t just some random fashion show. It was… *drum roll please* CAISA FASHION SHOW PRESTIGE 2013!!!!!! *fireworks please* Before my brain had time to recuperate, it was blown yet again. One of the many reasons why I was thoroughly impressed was the fact that it was completely student-run with all proceeds going towards charity. And I guess the fact that they had hot guys dancing shirtless on stage didn’t hurt either.
Side story: when I watched the show I definitely did not think I would be part of it the year after or the fact that my future roommate and some of my closest friends this year were somewhere backstage.
My last day in London was on St. Patty’s Day so I got to witness the huge amount of school spirit at Western. It was such a different scene compared to UofT since Homecoming wasn’t that big of a deal. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what the mascot is. It was just amazing to see everyone roaming the streets wearing green; it reminded me of the spirit of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and the Stanley Cup finals. Thinking back, I always remembered Jennifer voicing Western so positively with an immense amount of love and pride for her school that I didn’t feel like I had for mine at the time. After witnessing first hand last year, it definitely made the thought of transferring enticing. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy at UofT, it had more to do with the fact that I wanted to feel ecstatic and overwhelmed with school spirit.
That being said, it wasn’t really enough for me to follow through with transferring. In fact, I’ll let you in on a secret. Even after I applied to transfer, I was almost certain I was going to chicken out and not do it. That might explain why I never bothered telling any of my friends or family I applied because let’s be real, moving is scary and I didn’t think I would YOLO that hard.
Ultimately, I made my decision based on the fact that I really wanted to enjoy my undergrad experience. I knew that by transferring, I could potentially lose a BCOM degree and my (asian) parents’ dream in their daughter graduating from “the best university in Canada” (vs. graduating from “Western… who?”).
I guess after much thought, I realized that I really didn’t care where I graduated from or what degree I get to wave in front of people’s faces as long as I was happy throughout undergrad and I made lifelong friends that can make superb speeches at my wedding.
I’d also like to note that despite our (me and UTSG’s) incompatibility, it was one of the most important years of my life. A lot of people ask me if it would’ve been better if I had just gone to Western straight out of first year. My answer is no. I don’t think I would’ve appreciated my school as much nor would I be as happy. My year in Toronto also kickstarted my self-discovery due to the abundance of independence I gained. Besides, I got to live in the heart of downtown (shoutout to Woodsworth Res, best location everrrrrrr) and met amazing people I still keep in touch with today. #DoYouHaveCrackers #BecauseItsReallyCheesyHere
What I can really take away (or awei, whichever you prefer) from this experience is that I learned first hand that the higher the risk, the higher the reward (dear biz prof, are you proud?). What I’m trying to say is that if there’s something you really want to do and you’re unsure whether or not you should do it… DO IT (unless it’s illegal then DON’T DO IT). But yeah. #WorstAdviceEver #DontListenToMe #GreatWay #GreatWeiToEndThisBlogPost