Finding The Right School: Sometimes it Takes Two Tries

“After the first week of actual school,” Redding resident, Marissa DiBella said, “I knew it wasn’t going to work out.” The current UConn sophomore started her college career at Providence College. “I didn’t like the college or the major I was in. It just wasn’t academically challenging enough for me.” As current high school seniors stress about finding the perfect college, Marissa reminds us that you don’t always have to get it right the first time.

“To me, Providence College felt like high school all over again. The school wasn’t as big as I wanted it to be, and the people there weren’t very nice,” the 2014 Barlow grad said, “It just wasn’t the college experience I was looking for.” Never would she have thought that her first choice school would turn into the wrong school for her.

“Choosing the right college is very stressful,” DiBella said as she played with the long sleeves of her dark blue UConn t-shirt. “Transferring was definitely the right decision for me” she said confidently. “I cannot picture myself still being at that school. Although,” she said shyly pushing her light brown bangs out of her face, “Sometimes when I see pictures of what my old friends doing something great , I can get F.O.M.O. [Fear Of Missing Out]. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when I see them having fun while I’m studying for my anatomy final it makes me a bit sad.” However, UConn, “is just as fun and a much better fit for me. It is really helping to set me up with what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Wishing she could go back in time, she said, “In high school, I would have focused more on school and I would have gotten better grades. This would have allowed me to get into UConn when I first applied so I never would have had to transfer at all.” Although it worked out nicely for her, her life would have been much easier if she never had to transfer.

Her advice to teens who are uncertain about whether or not they want to transfer is, “if you are unhappy at your current school, at least apply to another school; applying doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go there, but it gives you a chance to have other options.” She’s gotten lucky, and this whole process has, in the end, worked out really well for her.

“I never feel out of place [at UConn], why would I? I am from Connecticut and I already know some kids that go here.” Making new friends wasn’t as hard as she thought it was going to be. “It only took a little while because they didn’t have an Involvement Fair, but once I joined clubs and teams it was a lot easier to make friends.”

Regrets are one thing that she doesn’t have. Her old school just wasn’t a good fit. “I was really unhappy [at Providence] so I didn’t want to stay any longer. I’m happy I transferred as early on as I did because then I wasn’t as far behind on my new major at UConn.” Even though she was only there for a month, she feels as though her time there was enough to come to the decision that she didn’t like it. Her parents “were very happy and supportive; they loved my new school almost as much as I did. Not only did they love the fact that it was closer to home, but it was a lot cheaper.”

“College is a wonderful experience, and it’s even better when it’s the right college. This whole experience has changed me and made me realize that picking a college isn’t as stressful as everyone makes it out to be because transferring is always an option.”