One student shares his experience to help you decide.
By Addison Mills, ’23, Pastoral Ministry major and SEU transfer student
How do you know it’s time to transfer out of your current college? Speaking from experience, this can be such a scary question. You’ve begun to realize that where you currently are may not be where you want to stay. But how do you know?
Making the Choice
Personally, I knew it was time to transfer when I felt I couldn’t find my place, or my people, on the campus of my previous college — no matter how much I tried to get involved. When I was a senior in high school, I had visited SEU and knew I wanted to attend. The entire time I was on the tour, I was falling in love with what I saw and heard. But, there was one thing that I was sure would throw a wrench in my dream: finances. I wasn’t sure I could afford SEU, and disregarded everything that I heard in the financial aid session. I didn’t know at the time that if I had just dug into the financial aid process more, and asked for help, I would have been able to make it happen. In fact, 99% of SEU students receive financial aid, and SEU offers step-by-step guides to help you every step of the way and take out the guesswork.
I chose to go to a state school, but I was miserable because I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Furthermore, it’s not where the Lord wanted me to be. He had placed SEU on my heart, but I chose to stifle what I felt and listened to my own logic instead.
My first year of college was characterized by loneliness, lack of joy, and lack of belonging. I made things appear as if they were okay because I didn’t want to admit that I had chosen wrong. It was a hard year, and truthfully became even harder once the pandemic shut everything down. Even though I wish I would have just come to SEU in the first place, when I look back on that difficult time, I wouldn’t change anything because of what I learned.
No matter the season you’re in, the Lord will not waste your struggles. This experience taught me that He is a close Father who cares about me, and that He was working even when I couldn’t see it or understand it.
Listening to the Lord
After that year, I gave the Lord a “yes” to wherever he would send me. God called me to Shreveport, Louisiana, to intern with the camp ministry I had been involved with previously. I knew it was just for a season, because school was still something I was passionate about completing. When I took the time to really ask the Lord, I knew I still wanted to go to SEU. I went through the enrollment process with the help of my transfer enrollment counselor, Tyler. I had all my questions answered by Jennifer in Academic Advising. Eileen always helped me in Student Financial Services. Every department on campus helped me make my dream of loving my time in college come true.
Though all of the logistics were figured out, when it came time to think about moving in, I panicked. I was so fearful that my first year at SEU would be like my first year at my previous school. I was scared of being lonely again. I was scared of feeling like a failure again. There was so much unknown, so I seriously considered taking my classes fully online so at least I could be comfortable at home. But, my wise parents made an “executive decision” for me. Though the decision was ultimately mine, they strongly encouraged me to go to SEU for at least a semester, and then we could make further decisions.
Home at Last
Move-in day came, and I was an anxious mess in the passenger seat of the car. I moved into Bauer Hall and my sister made me promise I would go to the Welcome Week event that night. At that event, I met one of my closest friends at SEU because he was on the Campus Wide Events team (which is the team who was helping host the event). I overheard that some people were playing volleyball, which is my safe space. I played volleyball with the people that I would later go on to win an intramural championship with! I laid my head down on the pillow that night and truly thought, “This is home.”
After that, I knew I only had two years at SEU, so I hit the ground running to get involved. I began volunteering with production in SEU Chapel. I jumped into intramural sports and found some of my closest friends there. I began working in the Office of Admission with some of the best people on earth. I also began volunteering with the First Year Experience (FYE) team on campus, since their event had been so important to me when I first arrived at SEU. FYE supports first year students to succeed spiritually, academically, and socially, and the group made a huge difference for me.
Before I came to SEU, the Lord laid Psalm 27:13-14 on my heart. It reads, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” In my first year at SEU, I got to watch the Lord fulfill his promises to me. I got to watch all the shortcomings of my first year at my prior school be redeemed at SEU. Time and time again, I got to see the goodness of the Lord showing up in my life.
This brings me to where I am now — a senior graduating in just a few months with my degree in Pastoral Ministry. I have the opportunity to be a student leader on our First Year Experience (FYE) team. I specifically serve with our spiritual team, overseeing things like our FYE small groups. I love this because I get to come alongside first year students to help them have an amazing first year experience like I had.
So, if you’re thinking about transferring but you’re having a hard time figuring out where to start, here are a few things I suggest you ask yourself.
Can I see myself at SEU? The answer to this comes from visiting campus. I attended an SEU visit event and that allowed me to walk around campus and really evaluate if I could see myself at SEU.
How can things be different for me at SEU? I compared my last school to SEU and explored all that SEU had to offer that I wasn’t getting at my old school. Ultimately, I decided that SEU had what I wanted, and the result was the college experience that I had always hoped for.
How can I get involved? Ask about ways to get involved on campus that are interesting to you. SEU is a perfect school to transfer into because there are opportunities to get plugged in and feel connected right away.
Will my credits transfer and which degrees are available? This is an important thing to research so you can stay on track for graduation. Check your transferrable credits here and be proactive in communicating with the advising office when you have questions. Be sure to explore SEU’s degree programs too — there are so many to choose from that just reading about them might make you want to transfer in!
What is the Lord saying? If I’m being honest, I got so tired of people telling me to pray about where I should go. But, once I finally got still, stayed quiet, and just gave space for God to speak, He so tenderly told me where to go. He’s amazing like that. He knows our hearts, our personalities, and where we will thrive. Allow Him to guide and look for His communication even in the simplest of things.
I’m so glad I did.