That time I transferred schools to change my major

John W. Cook Hall stands June 28, 2008, at Illinois State University. Cook Hall is one of five buildings at different Illinois state universities known as Altgeld’s castles.

Many people change their major while in college, but fewer people move to a new school for that change. This is exactly what I did.

After spending four years at Illinois State University, I realized late in the game I wanted to study journalism instead of geology, and ISU was not the place for me to do it.

Thankfully, NIU had a good journalism program and was located only about 30 minutes away from my parents’ house. I packed up my life at ISU and moved back home, and transferring to NIU.

It was hard to leave ISU as I had made many lifelong friends and had wonderful experiences, but I had to do what was best for my education.

I had been living on my own for years, so I was a little nervous to move back in with my parents. Thankfully I have the coolest parents in the world, and that was the easy part. The hard part was starting at a school where I did not know anyone in a program I had never been part of.

On my first day, I felt sick to my stomach. What if I had made a bad decision? What if NIU was not the best place for me to be? During my first week these thoughts went away. I discovered I was at a great school with great teachers and a great journalism program.

My worries about making friends turned out to be silly ones, as I made good connections with classmates very quickly. It was hard to be away from my ISU friends, but contact has never ceased between us, and they are still some of my best friends.

I do miss the freedom of living on my own, but living with my family where I can get home-cooked meals is something I would not give up for the world.

As things turned out, moving home and starting at NIU was the best educational decision I could have made for myself. I am very glad that I did.

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