Editor's note: Nearly 70 percent of high school graduates in Minnesota go straight to college. But some take a circuitous route through college, zig-zagging from one campus to another. Perissa York, who is attending the University of Minnesota, likely will be one of them. She plans to transfer to the University of Tampa.
I was accepted into a number of schools, including the University of Minnesota and the University of Tampa. But Tampa fit the bill, and I was excited about going to Florida.
The state is like a second home to me because I've traveled there frequently. Florida has a vibrant arts and entertainment industry in which I plan to work, and I'd eventually like to live there.
But there was a hitch. I had to wait for spring admission to Tampa because that's when new student housing would open up.
My plan for the time in between high school graduation and spring semester was up in the air but I knew I wanted to start classes this fall. So I decided to enroll at the University of Minnesota and then transfer to Tampa in the spring.
Carrie Jarvis, who last year was my high school adviser at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, knew about my plan.
"It's not unusual for a student to change their plans after graduating high school," said Jarvis, now the school's dean of student conduct. "It's pretty common."
She's right. Nearly 34,000 undergraduates, or 11 percent of the state's college students, transferred from one Minnesota college to another in-state school in the fall of 2012, according to a report from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
Jarvis said there are many reasons students change their plans after high school.
"I think just having some different experiences outside of high school are what really lead to those plans changing," she said. "So sometimes it can be as simple as, I thought it would be a lot easier to get transportation to the school that I wanted to go to whether that's local, whether that's across the country."
My U of M adviser, Kirsten Collins, has been trying to give me reasons to stay. Before transferring, she said, it's important to look at the big picture and make sure it's a smart choice.
"Make sure that you're looking at all your resources before you make that choice because it is a big step," she said. "It's a drastic step."
Taking classes at the U of M has made it difficult for me to decide whether I still want to go to Tampa. I've gotten used to my routine.
I'll need to create a new one in Tampa. However, I made sure all my credits would transfer — and I've lined up my financial aid.
As I make my decision, I'm getting advice from my mother, Yvonne Jefferson. She says going to Tampa will help me grow.
"You can know what it feels like to be out on your own, to be independent," she says.
My mother has always been very supportive. She's told me not to limit myself. She's always said one small step can lead to accomplishing bigger goals in life.
"Know what you want and try to stick to your goals," she says.
I'm 98.9 percent sure that I'll be attending the University of Tampa in the spring. I'm excited about it, but also frightened. I'll be out of my comfort zone. I won't know if living in Tampa is everything I want it to be. But I'm willing to find out.
Read more stories from the Young Reporters series at mprnews.org.