I began attending Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan in August 2010 with a goal of earning an AAS in Legal Assistant. In May 2012, I’d nearly finished with school when my boyfriend asked me to come to Indiana to live with him. His roommate had moved out and he was going to lose his house if he didn’t get someone else to help him pay the bills.
I agreed to help, not realizing the overall cost involved with such a decision. My parents were against it, my stepdad in particular, because I was so close to graduating, with less than ten credits to go.
In June 2012, I moved from Michigan to Muncie, Indiana with a plan to transfer my legal assistant program to Ivy Tech Community College. Although I was employed with a moving company at the time, it was a long-distance move at an estimated 3,000 lbs. It wasn’t realistic to ask my employer to help me.
The actual moving was performed by me and two friends; we loaded a 20 foot U-Haul truck that I drove to Indiana by myself that night. My now ex-boyfriend and I did the unloading by ourselves in the middle of a heat wave the next morning, which was almost unbearable.
There was a lapse of about two weeks from the time I could manage to deliver my furniture to Indiana and when I actually relocated. This meant I was living in a house with almost no furniture for half a month, which sounds tolerable but really isn’t. The move itself was not too painful, however, sleeping on the floor was.
Things Don’t Always Work Out
The most important thing I learned about my move came after my relationship failed. I ended up having to leave him and go to a homeless shelter after multiple incidents of domestic abuse. In hindsight, I see that even though he was my boyfriend, I really didn’t know him well enough to drop everything and move out of state.
My fatal mistake was doing very little research on my career or educational prospects before making my decision to move. I had perceived my boyfriend’s problems as my problems. I had no idea that his emergency would lead to my own two years later.
It Comes Full Circle
With a little assistance and a lot of effort, I was able to return to school in 2015 and graduate with an Associate in General Studies in October. However, the AGS wasn’t enough to meet my career goals; I returned to Michigan in December to finish what I started. I graduated Macomb’s Legal Assistant program in May 2016. Now that I have finished school (after six years!) I am back with the moving company I left back then.
I have learned quite a bit from my experiences, which I am grateful for. Would I have done things differently in hindsight? Absolutely, but since I can’t go back in time, all I can do is try to make wiser decisions in the future and try to help others.
Consider These Things Before You Transfer
My advice for students who are thinking of moving is to consider all of the costs, not just the sticker price of the relocation. If you’re under the impression that transferring credits is simple, let me be the first to say that it isn’t. First of all, you have to think about whether the school you attend is accredited. This means the school meets certain criteria, allowing credits to transfer and alleviating concern that classes will not meet the standards of the prospective college.
Assuming your current school is accredited, the next thing to contemplate is where you want to go to school when you get there. Is the new school accredited? Is it for profit or non-profit? What is your motivation for wanting to attend that school, and will it help you meet your career goals? The best thing to do is talk to academic advisors at both schools to get as much information as you can before making a decision.
College is a wonderful experience, but its fundamental purpose is to help people figure out what they want to be professionally, so they can earn enough money to sustain themselves. When deciding whether to move, students need to carefully consider whether moving will help to achieve their career goals, or impede them. Planning is one of the most crucial elements when it comes to relocating.