So I'm in a bit of a situation. I applied to two high ranking US liberal arts colleges as a transfer to begin in January 2019, after completing one year here in the UK, and then taking a semester off. I was not expecting absolutely anything from it - my ACT was average and I had gotten a couple of C's throughout the year (though this is common at my university, and I believe one of my recommenders made the ad coms aware of this).
Anyway, I knew I had a first choice in mind, and in November I went to visit both - one in the city, one in the middle of nowhere. I ended up completely falling in love with my second choice, but was still happy to attend previous first choice too should it come to it. I have some family ties to one of the schools which ended up being more influential in my love for the school than I thought it would be.
Yesterday I was not chosen for admission to my top choice, but was for my second choice, which I was still over the moon about. HOWEVER, I then received an email from a professor I became close with at the school, informing me I was pretty much guaranteed admission in the Fall, granted I retake my ACT and produce a higher score ( which I believe I can do with practice). Apparently I made it down to the "final cut", but my ACT was the final deciding factor amongst other stronger academic applicants. They also suggested I take some classes somewhere, to show I can maintain good grades.
So now I'm really, really stuck. To be honest I never even thought I'd get into one school at all so I'm pretty floored. Part of me truly believes I should take the place at the other school, since I believe in the whole "bloom where you are planted", but part of me also really desires to go to my favourite place. I feel it might loom over me if I don't at least consider it as an option. But would it be a terrible idea to go to my second choice, get good grades, only to then have to ask 4 months in for transfer recommendations and reports? I'm so stuck and would love some advice. I'm also an international student, so this is all quite up in the air.
I really do fear that a big city school might overwhelm me, in comparison to a smaller school with a tighter community.
Sorry for the ramble, hope everyone can understand...!