As a kid, I’ve had many classmates who took admission in the middle of the term, became the best of my friends, and then suddenly left. Mostly because their parents got transferred to another city. Despite being with hundreds of other schoolmates, if I felt a void. This made me wonder what these children would have gone through every time their parents got transferred and moved to a different city.

I scrolled through the internet a little and found that parents’ transfers did have a significant impact on children’s lives. Here are a few responses people shared on Quora and Twitter.

1. “My father is in a government job. I know how badly transfers disturb everyone’s lives. Whenever in school till the time I made best friends, adjusted to the new place, new teachers, we got transferred. In the new school, old notebooks were not accepted.” –  Ânushka Singh Bhadoria

2. “My father was an IFS officer so been through transfers almost every 2 years. The brighter side of it is that one gets to make a lot of friends.” – Abhijit Sane

3. “6 schools, 4 states, 4 languages and 2 systems of education. I think the learning came through constant shifting between, states, culture, cuisine, and community. We were very good with topography, which is my biggest advantage, that even while travelling abroad, I can find my way back quickly. We were given a car and driver and had to find and fend for ourselves, due to my father’s busy schedule. It gave us the confidence and courage to explore new cities.” – Vanitha Muthukumar

4. “I regret moving with my parents. You will lose all your friends and will have to move to a totally unknown location and start over again. So you will never be able to enjoy and savor a city fully. Trust me these moments still affect me and the worst part is your parents will never understand the struggle.” – Raja Narasimhan


5. “I’ve studied in five different schools and lived in five cities throughout my childhood and teenage years. My school life was good. I made a lot of friends in those five schools but only a handful are on talking terms with me. Meeting people, trying out new places and restaurants, and local touring were the most rewarding experiences. However, you have your fair share of struggles and pain during all of this. What hurt me the most while moving was leaving friends I’d just gotten close to. Another Herculean task was to fit in. Every time I changed a school, I had to literally talk to everyone to be friends with them. There’s also a constant need to fit in the social group to be more likable which makes you do things you’d never imagined. I learned to make friends quickly. I am at a stage where I can be friends with anyone irrespective of age. Academically, I was at an advantage. My grades kept improving as I switched schools. But now that my school life is over, I have very few friends from school.” –  Aparna Kar

6. “I was born in a tiny town near Calcutta and then my parents finally settled down after 14 years. In the meanwhile, I visited Delhi, Pune, and Bangalore. It gets really frustrating at times. You come to a new place, and carve yourself a niche into the existing groups. Just when you start to like the place, you find out that it is time to pack your bags! I cannot begin to tell you about the number of times when I just wondered whether I should even bother to get to know anyone at all! Given a choice, I would have loved to spend my whole life with one set of friends.” – Pramit Baul

7. “My dad is an IFS officer. I know well enough how it feels like to be hauled from one school in the mid of your school term and admitted to another school. It’s tough to say goodbye to friends you made in the previous school. As a kid it’s scary too, you are unsure of what sort of kids would be there at the new school, new teachers, and you are supposed to catch on the syllabus. Looking back I have no regrets honestly, because it made me adaptive to changes and an extrovert.” – Sabrina Rajvanshi

8. “I have parents who are in transferable jobs and now I am one such parent too. While there is this option of exploring new places, making new friends, and getting to know varied cultures, lifestyles, and people, there is also a constant fear of change too. Sometimes rapid change takes its toll too. Constant shifting, arranging, and setting up things every three years can turn out to be a pain! When for the sake of better education, children are left with a comparatively stable parent, they lose out on the other parent’s company. The flipside however is that such children become independent very early in their lives. That’s how it has been for me. But there are cases where children drift from their families too.” – Radhee Krishna

9. “My father’s job first with the army and then a nationalised bank meant packing our home into a truck, driving next to it in our Maruti for two days, and then unpacking it all at the new house in a new city. And then waiting for that first day at another new school… Moving every few years meant we were never really accumulating much other than memories. It meant not being able to hold on to our favourite magazine issues, although dad’s collection of Reader’s Digests fought bravely until the very end. It meant giving away clothes we could do without. It meant never owning any furniture, which was provided by the bank along with the house that we would live in for the next few years… Sure, travelling and living in different cities as an adult changes you, but when you move so often as a kid, it transforms you. In some ways, it also allows you to reinvent yourself.” – Shefali Pandey for CNT


10. “Imagine packing your entire household to move to a new place. Mum making you decide which toys to discard and which ones to take with you. Losing all your friends, then trying to make new ones in a new school. Sometimes becoming a victim of bullies. Trying desperately to synchronize what you learned in your previous school with what is going on in the new one when you join in the middle of the year. Do all that just to rinse and repeat. You never really make deep, long-lasting friendships. You can never call a single place your home. You can never say – I belong to that place…r If I am asked to pack my bags and move tomorrow to an entirely unknown place (for a good reason, of course!) I would do it in a heartbeat. I don’t really get attached to a place. I am well versed in different cultures, having had friends from virtually all over India. I speak Hindi as good as a native speaker ” – Nihal Nayak

11. “I changed six schools. Truly speaking, although it was tiring to shift from one place to the other, I think it was a good experience to meet people from different cultures and places. The most difficult part of these transfers was changing schools. Different school has different rules. Different ways of teaching. Different accents, especially teachers from the South. There should be a bond between a teacher and a student, which I think I never had. That one teacher who is always supporting you and always motivates you from the first standard. I think I never had a teacher like that. I never met any of my teachers again. Reunion… forget. It’s not possible. All my friends are from naval camps. They’re also roaming from one state to another. I don’t even know which state also. Thanks to social media that is keeping us in contact.” – Kanchan Yadav


Did your parents also get transferred frequently? How did it affect you? Tell us in the comments section below.

All images have been taken from Unsplash, unless specified otherwise.