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I don't like my school and don't know what to do

ISOhelp28ISOhelp28 0 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi everyone,

I am a freshman in my second semester at Harvey Mudd College. I went to this school because it is a good academic school and I really like science and math. I am also on a sports team for the school. I really love the sports team and it is my favorite part. However, I have realized that I really don't enjoy the school. I do have friends and they make it enjoyable but it is just too hard. The school makes us take 7 classes and overload with 18.5 credits. It is also a school where we do like 8 hours of homework a day. Not only is it a lot of work, it is really hard to do well. Only 8 kids in the history of the school have gotten 4.0 GPAs. I understand that it is hard and that getting Bs and Cs is considered to be doing well, but it is just wearing me down. I work so hard and still don't do very well. I am stressed a lot and am really sick of it. Right now I am sitting in the airport about to go back from spring break and I really don't want to go back. However, I missed the transfer deadline if I did want to transfer so I would have to wait until Spring of 2020 to move schools.I don't know if I should even be considering moving. I just don't know what to do. I know that it is a really good school and just getting a degree here would be great but I am sick of being sad. I used to be a pretty positive and upbeat person and now I barley recognized myself and feel like I could cry everyday. I was trying to power through because once I make it through core (the first three semesters where they tell us what classes to take) people say it gets a little more enjoyable because you actually get to pick your own classes but I don't know if I can make it anymore.

I have reached out for help form the school center of health and wellness and it hasn't really helped. I have also been honest with my parents and they know I am struggling, but there is nothing we can really do because I missed the transfer dates because I was trying to power through. I know there is not a lot I can do but I just thought I would post this because I am sitting in the airport really not wanting to go back. Let me know if anyone has any advice.
14 replies
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Replies to: I don't like my school and don't know what to do

  • YawnmomYawnmom 24 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 24
    I'm a Mom, with a son. I get it. I'll help you.
    edited March 24
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  • crknwk2000crknwk2000 329 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    I just want to give you the biggest hug. HMC is an amazing place but i have heard that academically it is really stringent. How are your friends feeling there? Are you all leaning on each other to get through this really tough core time? For my D it does help when she knows she's not alone in the grind and she's working together with friends/study mates to get through it. Also, is there tutoring? I know your time is probably limited with your sports team, but it might help. It would be frustrating for sure to be working to hard and feel like you're still not doing well, but I'm sure you're not alone in this feeling. Cut yourself a big amount of slack and keep remembering that B'c and C's are totally fine. It REALLY tells you something that in the history of Mudd only 8 kids have gotten 4.0s. Keep that in mind at all times ; )

    It's good you reached out to health and wellness, I'm sorry it wasn't more helpful. I would try again, really letting them know how you're feeling. Also, can you talk to an academic counselor about how you're feeling? Maybe they can offer up some ideas.

    Finally, I know the deadline to transfer has passed but since Mudd is part of the Claremont Consortium I wonder if there would be anyway to try to transfer to one of the other Claremont schools (if you even have interest).

    Again, sending a you a big mom hug...
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  • merc81merc81 10360 replies158 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, which transfer deadlines? April 1st is not uncommon for the fall semester.
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  • ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 367 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    Your advisor would probably be a good person to talk to. Or a professor you like, even one from last semester. I have students come talk to me every semester about things they are struggling with. Also, there is probably someone in Student Affairs who focuses on academic support. These folks can’t necessarily fix the obstacles you’re encountering but they can help you cope and may have some good advice or creative solutions.
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  • YawnmomYawnmom 24 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I have messaged ISOhelp28 after talking with a friend of mine who is a counselor. I also gave him the name of a junior at HM who is the son of a friend of mine, and hopefully the will connect. My friend the counselor mentioned a Teen Crisis Text Line that is amazing; the number to text is 741741. Trained counselors, who specialize in teens, standing by to help. Just wanted to pass this number along to everyone.
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  • YawnmomYawnmom 24 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
  • mysmommysmom 106 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Please consider taking time off or at least reducing your class load. Plenty of students transfer out of their first college. Nothing is wrong with taking a semester off to regroup and reapply. Sending hugs.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5526 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is a very tough decision. However, I think that I agree with @Yawnmom. I went to a different but similarly very demanding university for undergrad. It took two years before it wore me down. The problem is that the work does not let up for four years.

    If you want to do it, then a school such as Harvey Mudd, or MIT, or Caltech, is a wonderful experience. You can learn a lot in four years at any of these schools. You can do things that you never realized that you could do.

    However, you have to want to do it. It is a huge amount of work. In my experience, there were a couple of extracurricular activities that I really wanted to do as an undergrad (sailing and fencing). My school had these. I just didn't have time to do it. My social life suffered. Academics was life for four years.

    You have figured this out more than a year faster than I figured it out. You can find schools that are a better fit for you.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My kid graduated from HMC a couple years ago, and it is definitely stressful academically. I think it is especially hard for students used to getting all As or close to it in HS, and to hit the workload and grade deflation is very tough. You are in the heart of the Core right now, and past the pass/fail semester, which is hardest period for most students. If you are in season for your sport, that is even more stress.

    Quite a few students take a semester or two off, and some transfer. If you have to take a bit of time off after this semester before coming back, or take a break and then transfer, that is fine! Mudd is not the place for everyone, and you can definitely still finish college and have a STEM career from another school. In the long run, if you take a gap year next year and apply to transfer, you’ll be fine.

    My kid stuck it out in the face of barely passing some of her classes, but the 2nd and 3rd semesters were especially stressful. She was in the bottom half of her class for sure at graduation, but had options open to her for employment and grad school when she was done.

    Mudd administration is concerned about students in your position. Talk to your proctor or a res life dean about it, and figure out who to see about maybe withdrawing from a class to lighten your load for the rest of the semester. And take to heart that a C is an okay grade at Mudd, and in a pinch, “D is for done”. My kid had a smattering of Cs on her transcript for sure, and she worked her tail off for them. Dean’s List at Mudd is a 3.0 or better, and my kid definitely did not make it every semester.

    Regarding the 18.5 credits — maybe you have a couple of half credit classes that are really intended to shore up/ support areas where you aren’t as strong? My D had some of those. But I agree, the small slices of lots of subjects during core adds stress for sure. That part gets better after next semester. If you decide to return in the fall or after a break, work with your advisor to keep the credit load reasonable, especially during your sports season. Do not do summer math given how you are feeling (you might feel pushed to do that, but my kid didn’t — she desperately needed an academic break the first summer).

    So... ask your proctor and res life dean for help. See about withdrawing or dropping a class. Figure out this summer whether you want to come back in the fall, or take a break, or take a gap year & transfer. All of those are solid options. Good luck - feel free to PM me if you want to.
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  • bopperbopper 14080 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    edited March 25
    1) Go to the Counseling Center and talk to someone. I am sure many other students have been in your situation.
    https://services.claremont.edu/mcaps/ Do this tomorrow. If you have talked to them already, then like @intparent said, talk to your proctor/res life dean.

    2) You want to try to salvage as much of this semester as you can. It has been paid for and you have worked hard on it. Talk to the Dean of Students about options.
    Options;
    A) Drop the sport
    B ) Withdraw from a class or two (keeping you full time) but allowing you to put more effort on less classes
    C) If you don't think you can pass any of your courses, then talk to your parents about a withdrawal. But if you can do well enough in some of them, consider withdrawing from some.

    3) Get extra help (e.g., tutor) and read this:http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/1920853-college-is-a-step-up-from-hs-16-tips-on-doing-well-in-college.html

    4) Don't worry about next year...If you need to go to CC or take some time off that is okay right now. That is a decision that can be made later. Make sure you finish this year without failing classes.

    5) Talk to your parents about options. You may be afraid to talk to them or think they will be mad at you...I think what they really want is for you to be happy and not miserable at college.
    edited March 25
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I do think Mudd is kind of specific of the 5Cs, and you might get a more understanding response within the Mudd community.
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  • Miles PerraraMiles Perrara 180 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Keep trying your discussions with the Health and Wellness staff again. Also, talk to your dorm proctor, other students in your study group, or your academic advisor. Mudd is well aware of the stress of its academic program, and getting through the core curriculum may be the most difficult. I have heard members of the administration address that point directly. They do not want students to crash out of the program, and students have transferred out, or taken a year off and have returned and graduated later. They will work with you.
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