To Switch or Not to Switch: Is Transferring High Schools Worth It?


Before I get into the story, let me give some background information. The high school I went to freshman year was my first choice high school; it’s a Roman Catholic predominately Black school. I’m not Catholic, I’m Muslim… this will play an important role later on. Okay, first day of freshman year: all the other freshman know are friends and have known each other their whole lives.. then there’s me. I knew no one, I was just this shy girl trying to figure out my schedule. Nobody talked to me; I was a loner. But that was okay, I excelled academically. I got A’s in most my classes. I know you’re like “Okay, Khiara. You didn’t have any friends, how is that so bad you had to transfer?” I’m just at the peak of the iceberg. I had many teachers I liked, many who liked me… then there were the ones that did not care for me. I had this one teacher, she was young and popular, and who obviously didn’t care about our education. She talked on the phone during class, she talked about students, copied tests offline and give them to us, allow students to cheat on the final, etc. It was terrible. Then, I got in trouble by her because I signed a petition to get her removed. Remember when I said I was Muslim earlier? I was made fun of because of this. Teachers would purposely say things during class, allow students to make rude comments while I was in the room. Oh! Did I mention I had another teacher who was old, mean, and prejudiced? The principal only cared about the athletes and the troublemakers. He lacked compassion and sympathy for all other people. On top of all of this, I had self-esteem issues, financial issues, and family issues. By then, I made a couple friends but it couldn’t ease the pain I had inside. I received a letter in the mail “... due to failure to make payments on tuition your child cannot return to school until a payment is made…” I was kicked out of school until my tuition got paid! How lovely. By the grace of God I was able to return to school but I was depressed. I was faking a smile so people wouldn’t see the pain I was going through. That was the moment I decided I needed to take a year off.



Of course I didn’t drop out of school but I knew I needed to transfer schools. I knew sophomore year I would be happy. I thought this through completely… NOT! If you have ever attended a private school before you know your transcript will not get released until all tuition is paid off. Well that wasn’t the case for me. No good school would take me without my official transcript. This was sign #1 I shouldn’t have transferred schools. I had to suck my pride up and go to a D rated school in Downtown St. Louis. This school was terrible. It stunk, it was infested with roaches and rats. The electricity was always cut off, prison food looked more appealing than the school lunches. The students didn’t care about their education or yours. They disturb classes, cursed teachers out (and teachers would curse them out back.) It was a mad house. If I thought I had no friends at my old school (we’re going to call it School A) then my new social life had become more desolate than the Sahara...

My entire sophomore year of high school I talked to no one. I didn’t participate in group work, I skipped classes, I didn’t eat at all. I wanted to give up on life. I realized this was a terrible mistake. I needed to go back. My best friend still went to School A so the Tuesday after Labor Day 2015 I decided to “go back”. I was still in their system, my name was still on class rosters, so in my mind that translates to “I’m a student. All I have to do is show up and say I was on an extended vacation.” I got dressed in the uniform, I went to 3 classes that day then BOOM! I got caught and was sent to the principal's office. I was so embarrassed. Not because I got caught but because I was telling teachers to give me the missing work from the first 3 weeks of school. The principal laughed in my face, a office aide laughed in my face, multiple teachers laughed in my face. I had to call my dad and tell him I got in trouble for sneaking into school. I’m the only person you’ll ever hear say they snuck into school.

Anyway, I became the joke of sophomore year. I kept in touch with the Director of Admissions at School A and she helped me get back in. So, after another school year of hell I was admitted back into School A. Being at that bad school taught me a few things, though. I learned to love myself and fixed some of my self-esteem issues. I became confident in class. Most of all, I received an A in Honors Algebra II (this has no significant meaning besides I take College Algebra now as a junior.) At the end of the day, those 10 months of hell allowed me to have 2 more years of sanity and happiness.

Now that the long story is over I’ll give some tips from my experience.


For my case I needed to transfer because of those personal reasons but if you can prevent or hold off on transferring then I would. If you feel the need to transfer because you have no friends then maybe you should just stick it out. High school isn’t about making friends, honestly. You’re there to learn and to discover yourself.

Father And Teenage Son Having A Hug

Father And Teenage Son Having A Hug

Tip 2: Talk to an Adult

You could have the same mindset as me and think you’re adult enough to make certain decisions. You’re not. Get an adult and talk to them about transferring. Talk to the counselor, the principal, your guardian, somebody who has the knowledge on what you’re about to get yourself into.

Tip 3: If you decide to transfer, make sure your credits are transferable

I’m still suffering from this. Not all the classes I took at the other school transferred to School A. Talk with the new school and the old school to make sure you’re on the right track at both locations just in case.

Tip 4: Remember you can excel at any school

I am living proof of that. At the end of my sophomore year I had a 4.01/5.0 GPA. As long as you put your all into yourself and your work you’ll be okay.



Why Choosing a College is Like a Season of the Bachelorette


Choosing a college is like a season of The Bachelorette. Applying to college might seem as stressful as choosing a fiancé, but that’s okay.


Weeks 1-2

During your junior year of high school, you will probably begin compiling a list of potential colleges. Throughout the remainder of your high school career, you will spend countless hours deciding which colleges to apply to, actually applying to them, and finally choosing a school. It sounds rough.

Similarly, JoJo Fletcher underwent a stressful process throughout the ten weeks which made up this past season of The Bachelorette. At the start, she was faced with twenty-six men seeking her heart. Each participant on the show offered a unique set of characteristics to his potential future fiancé, just as colleges do to prospective students. Of course there are colleges that offer none of what we are looking for... I think we all remember Chad from this season. While it may be easy to rule these schools out quickly, there will be multiple colleges with various pros. Maybe one has the name everyone knows and envies, like former NFL quarterback Jordan Rodgers. Another displays incredible guidance and support, like Robby Hayes. How can she choose?


Weeks 3-5

As you begin to acquire acceptance and rejection letters from schools and narrow your choices down, the decision-making grows increasingly more challenging. Take it from JoJo. She shed tears nearly every episode, especially as the weeks went by. She continued to learn more about each man and had even more trouble letting one go. Like JoJo you are looking for a commitment, which can seem daunting. As JoJo send men home week after week, she found herself crying out that she didn’t even know what she was doing. She wondered whether the decisions she made rejecting men would be the best for her future.

Although your decision is far from easy, you will reach a moment of clarity in which you will feel comfortable with the school you have chosen. Trust me, I’ve been there too. Personally, I had a lot of trouble choosing between the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego. Being from New York, I knew that I was choosing a school far from home, in fact on the other side of the country. Just as JoJo visited the homes of her top four men as the season began to wrap up, I made sure to visit my top colleges before coming to a decision, which I cannot recommend enough. The visits helped me immensely, and I left California during the spring break of my senior year, where I visited five schools, with a clear idea of my two favorites- USD and USC.


Weeks 6-7

If you still feel torn after visiting the schools to which you were admitted, as I did, don’t freak out. My first tip is to make a list of the pros and cons of each of your schools. Compare the various factors by their importance, such as the cost of tuition, the majors and minors offered, location, and opportunities for internships and jobs.

Although this process can help you to visualize the school which is most realistic for you to attend, I believe that following your gut will ultimately lead you to the best college for you. When JoJo was left with two men during the final episode of this past season, she talked rationally with her family about her two options, verbally listing their pros and cons. Both were great, but her parents and siblings all seemed to favor Robby. Her brother compared Jordan to a “New Year’s date” and claimed that Robby seemed to be more of a long-term fit for JoJo. However, America’s favorite bachelorette jumped to Jordan’s defense. Just as JoJo defended Jordan, I found myself defending USC whenever a family member or peer would persuade me to commit to USD.


Weeks 8-9

When it comes down to it, you can ask your family and friends for their advice as much as you want, but you won’t end up choosing a school because someone else told you to do so. You are the one spending the four years at that school, not your loved ones. Though JoJo’s family encouraged her to pick Robby, they ultimately expressed their interest in her happiness. My family did the same when I was choosing a school, and I’m sure yours will too.

Instead of asking where you should go, ask your family and friends where they believe you truly want to go. You will come to realize that your heart is set on a college. Clearly, JoJo felt that Jordan was right for her early on in the show, as she gave him her First Impression Rose. She revealed after the season ended that she kept asking herself which man she could not imagine leaving, and the answer was Jordan. Think about which school comes to your mind first. Metaphorically, I gave my First Impression Rose to USC. My family could tell for a while that I genuinely wanted to end up there, since I always talked about it first and most often. I did receive more scholarship money at USD and was offered spring admission to USC, meaning that I would have to begin classes there in the spring semester, rather than during the fall. However, I followed my gut and felt absolutely relieved when I committed to the University of Southern California and made plans to study abroad my first semester.


Week 10

My final piece of advice to you is to not stress too much. Wherever you end up is where you are meant to be. I know that was corny, but it’s true. Please don’t let yourself cry as much as JoJo did this season (if that’s even possible). As May 1 approaches, deliver that final rose, also known as your deposit, to the school you cannot imagine denying. At the end of the day, choosing a college is a process, and you should trust it! After all, JoJo trusted the process this season, and she and Jordan are set to live happily ever after. *Roll Credits*


If you are still stuck, the following links will direct you to more help on choosing between two colleges:,-how-do-you-choose-between-colleges/168/1