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I Almost Transferred, But Here's Every Reason Why I Didn't

If I'm being completely honest, I was never planning on telling anyone that I almost transferred from USC. Partially because I didn't want to face the questions about why I thought about it or how long it had been on my mind, but also because looking back on it, thinking about transferring is one the silliest things I've ever done. 

This past summer, as I was preparing to move back to South Carolina for my junior year at USC, someone had mentioned to me that I should consider doing my student teaching in Ohio, as I do plan to return home upon graduation and teach there. 

I've always been the type of person to think one step ahead of where I currently am, especially when it comes to my career. Teaching positions in the districts I would like to teach in down the road are highly competitive and the idea of student teaching in those districts and getting my foot in the door was very appealing to my plan-ahead, have everything figured out in advance self. 

It's also no secret that I love Ohio State. Partly because I grew up a Buckeye fan, partly because campus is basically in my backyard, I was raised a Buckeye and my love for that university is still as strong as ever, even though I am not a student there. 

So I decided to look into the option of transferring to Ohio State for the sole purpose of completing my field experience in the school districts that I would be applying for jobs at in two short years. I sent in my transcript for a credit evaluation, scheduled a call with OSU's Education Department and tried to picture myself at Ohio State. Again, I want to emphasis that the motive behind transferring was purely and entirely an academic decision, not because of anything else.

I've said this many times but I am a HUGE homebody. Being a homebody and having been home for two months for the summer at the time when this transferring topic came up didn't help. I was used to being back in Columbus and was enjoying being surrounded by my family.

Before I knew it I was driving back to South Carolina to move into my apartment with four of my best friends. Within 24 hours of being back in Columbia, sitting in our empty, dark apartment with only one of my roommates in town so far, I realized that transferring would be the silliest thing for me to do.

Yes, I am a huge homebody and I'll admit that I love Ohio State more than I should for someone who doesn't go to school there. But I've made a home here in Columbia, South Carolina with the best friends that I thought only existed in my dreams. There's a reason that I got deferred from Ohio State three times (there's a confession I never thought I would be sharing) and that's because I wasn't meant to be a Buckeye. I was meant to be a Gamecock and I was meant to attend The University of South Carolina.

So while the thought of transferring may have crossed my mind for a brief moment, that ship has sailed and is now long gone.

During this time, I didn't tell anyone about any of this, because nothing was certain and I didn't want to get other people involved in something that was so far up in the air. After realizing that I didn't want to leave my life in South Carolina (& after OSU telling me I would need to stay for an additional two years to make up for lost credits) I told my roommates.

I didn't think that telling them would be that hard but looking at the faces of my friends  family and seeing their expressions change brought a wave of emotions over me when I realized how stupid I was for thinking that I could leave these people, and that I had considered leaving these people, just to get a leg up on finding a job.

I'll find a job one day but I won't get to find friends like the ones I have now again. The people in my life that South Carolina has brought to me are once-in-a-lifetime people. My dad always tells me that people come into our lives for "a reason, a season, or a lifetime" and these people are definitely the lifetimers.

Home will always be there, but Thursday night horror movie marathons with Maddie won't. Late night drives to Willy B with Jess won't be always be here just like Friday morning walks to Starbucks with Lauren won't always be here either. I have less than two years left with all the people I love being in the same place at the same time and I don't want to waste any time away from them.

A career is what I'll be doing for the rest of my life, but college is only four years. I'm so grateful to have made a home here in South Carolina and to have friends that make leaving this home to go to my other home so hard.

My GPS has considered Columbia, South Carolina home for two years now, and I'm happy to say that I now consider Columbia, South Carolina home, too.

Attending this university, living in this city, and being surrounded by the sweetest & most supportive friends everyday reaffirms the thought that coming to South Carolina was the best decision of my life.

To anyone that may be considering transferring, whether that's transferring schools, jobs, you name it: don't just think about all the reasons to go, think about all the reasons to stay. 



  1. Awesome post Riley. I'm really glad you made the decision to finish out your college career...and college years in Columbia with your college friends. As you can see from myy example, those people will be with you for the rest of your lives.

  2. Well said--proof again that your college years will carry you far. Looks like you've got it all figured out, once again. Here's hoping you keep your college friends as long as your Dad's kept his. #ForeverToThee