By Katie Pond, SED 2017
I started a blog last September, marking the start of the semester I took off before transferring to Boston University. Going into that semester off, I was still unsure about whether I actually wanted to transfer. I wasn’t even sure that taking a leave of absence was the right choice, but maybe I just forgot that I had mono for weeks. I made the right decisions for myself, but at the time I felt like I was failing an essential part of my life by veering off the four-year path. I started my blog to vent about my situation and to feel connected while I was isolated.
On my blog, I wrote about everything: why I took leave instead of catching up later, how I both liked and disliked so much about my school, what it was like to work while my friends were at college, and why I was terrified of “giving up” and transferring. When you invite your entire friend list to read your thoughts, you tend to think through them a little more. Writing helped me organize my ideas and feelings, and I figured out what I really wanted from college.
I transferred to BU in January because it was a big school in cool city with great academics. I felt like BU attracted the kind of students I wanted to be around, and I was excited to start. However, transferring is no easy thing to do; it’s really hard to feel like a freshman for a second time. Making friends is hard. Transferring credits is hard. Then, on top of that, you still have to be a student. I was tired and lonely and constantly stressed, but as much as I wanted to quit, I also wanted to stay. Before, I was so confident about why BU was right for me, but those reasons weren’t necessarily keeping me here. There was something bigger about BU that made my gut tell me to stay even though I felt so worn down.
Of course, I took my confusion and I wrote about it. Through my writing, I noticed something. Even though I was stressed out a lot, I was never hung up on one thing for too long. I would write about a problem, but then I would write about how someone helped me solve it. When I randomly went home for a week due to stress, my professors were understanding and accommodating. When I was confused about my transfer credits, the Office of Student Services in SED actually reached out to me and helped me figure things out. When I was lonely, I got to go to class and have conversations that were far from awkward small talk with class friends. BU was fixing my problems, not causing them.
Writing helped me understand that I was right to choose BU, not because of its size or location, but because it’s where I’m comfortable. The only reason I sought help for anxiety was because I realized in my writing that I couldn’t blame my bad feelings on BU. As I said, transferring is hard. Transferring and finding out that you have anxiety is very hard. But through all of these things, I’ve always had and will continue to have someone in my corner at BU. I feel at home here—even when I’m not at my best—in a way that I simply never did at my old school. I feel at home because BU treats me like family. Yes, I belong at BU, whether or not I can perfectly describe why. Either way, writing somehow led me right where I needed to be.
Katie Pond is a junior in the School of Education, majoring in Math Education