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Resigning myself to a college I don't like

STEMboundSTEMbound Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited August 2013 in College Search & Selection
I am an automatic admit for our flagship university. But I do not even like it there. I am sure it is a great school, I know it is great academically. I hate how big it is. My older brother is at a small college, as well as my cousin. Everyone else around me seems to love the state school and wants to go there. But I don't. It feels like, though, being a STEM major, I have to go to a big university. I feel like I need to just resign myself to going there, and deal with it.

I could go to UT Austin or Texas A&M. I went ahead and applied to Texas A&M because it actually was a little smaller and seemed to put effort in to Living Learning Communities. Outside of that, I just hope senior year never ends and I do not have to deal with the going off to college thing.

When I have tried to talk to my guidance counselor, she tells me that A&M and UT Austin are excellent schools, and with instate tuition, I can't go wrong.
Post edited by STEMbound on

Replies to: Resigning myself to a college I don't like

  • PsychoDad10PsychoDad10 Registered User Posts: 1,195 Senior Member
    Have you thought about other sized schools? There are many mid size and even small schools with strong STEM programs out there. Obviously, cost and financial aid, if applicable to you, need to be kept in mind.
  • 11901190 Registered User Posts: 628 Member

    Engineering very different from math/CS/physical-bio sciences. Even in engineering, even if staying in Texas, why not, for example, Rice (if you're academically in play and cost not a problem)? If you're not talking about engineering, other STEM majors can be great even at relatively "tiny" LACs.

    Can't argue that if your family income too high to qualify for fin aid, UT campuses offer great value/quality. What about Honors/Plan II?
  • IvytIvyt Registered User Posts: 3,531 Senior Member
    Maybe look at Trinity University in San Antonio, they give out some nice merit scholarships.
  • BuBBLES FoR SALEBuBBLES FoR SALE Registered User Posts: 2,164 Senior Member
    Several points:

    -Do not go to a school with the wrong mentality. If you think you'll do poorly, you probably will.
    -You can't make a judgement so soon whether you like the school. Like most things in life, only time can tell. But if you go in with the wrong attitude, you will have a much smaller chance of ever finding your calling, even if the school actually does have the resources that will keep you intellectually and socially satisfied.
    -Many small schools have great engineering departments, but they are harder to be accepted to and have fewer social/academic options than large state schools.
  • STEMboundSTEMbound Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I am applying to Rice, but know that it is a reach. I am planning to likely major in math, but am considering engineering. I am in AP Chemistry and AP Physics C this year so maybe once I have more experience there, I can make a better decision. I have been interested in materials engineering specifically, but that is often not available until grad school anyway. Which I am fine with because if I had to pick right now and today, I would be a math major.

    I qualify for enough financial aid at many of the schools I looked at, according to their websites.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,614 Forum Champion
    What are your parents saying?

    My older brother is at a small college,

    How much are they paying for your brother?

    If they're saying that they'll pay $20k+ per year for UT or TAMU, then find out if they'll pay the same if you go elsewhere with aid or merit.

    What are your stats?

    What are your objections to TAMU and UT besides size? What type of school would you prefer?
  • teenbodybuilderteenbodybuilder Registered User Posts: 1,649 Senior Member
    SMU, Baylor, Texas Tech?

    Do you want to stay in Texas? There's plenty of other schools in the south that might fit you better.

    Tulane, Emory, Georgia Tech, Vandy, Miami?
  • STEMboundSTEMbound Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    The first time I went to Texas A&M, I could not stand it. It was huge. I felt lost. I felt like I could not find my way around or figure anything out. I was there for my brother and not me, this was a couple years ago. I honestly felt like everything was closing in on me. I would turn one way and think I know where I am going only to realize I was going the other way. Then, in my junior year, I returned for an official visit. I felt like I would be one of a million students. When I tried to visit the departments for my major interests, I felt passed off. The person I met with in one office handed me three different possible degree plans. She never smiled and acted put out. Then she insisted on reading the degree plans to me. She said she was explaining them to me, but she was just reading word for word. And from the way she acted, I felt like I burdened her by being there. When I tried to ask questions from the admissions office, I never got answers. Plus, there is no real financial aid calculator. It came back saying I would get $0-20,000 in financial aid. Now that I have applied, I have tried to go back and look at the residence hall information. It is all over the place! There are so many dorms and other than prices and floor plans, I know nothing about them. I have considered, even though I currently plan to major in math, putting down engineering so I could live in a Living Learning Community so I maybe won't feel so lost. A lot of the first year classes are similar anyway so there won't be much lost time. Plus, I might end up in engineering anyway.

    Then I go to visit my brother at college. People actually knew me because they knew him. I never felt lost. I could turn to ask a question of anyone. I could stop someone on the sidewalk on campus and ask a question. My brother, who never had much for friends in high school, has tons of friends now. I know a lot of smaller schools have 3-2 programs. But I am not sure that I would do engineering, so, it might not be the better route. Plus, I have read that 3-2 programs often are not the best route, because people usually do not want to transfer shortly after school starts.

    There are schools where I do the financial aid calculator and get good numbers on what financial aid might be. Then Texas A&M and UT Austin seem to have invalid financial aid calculators.

    I am in the top 10% and my ACT is a 33. I am very involved at my school and in my community, and would like to go to a college where I can continue to be involved. I don't want to just be an afterthought in a huge, ginormous school, just trying to exist and get through.
  • IvytIvyt Registered User Posts: 3,531 Senior Member
    Trinity University (San Antonio) has some pretty good STEM programs and only ~2400 students on a small campus. (Also has a free application with no required extra essays or anything).

    http://web.trinity.edu/x17392.xml (Net price calculator) *

    *It doesn't include their merit scholarships which I am sure you would get if you applied EA.
  • AlbionGirlAlbionGirl Registered User Posts: 885 Member
    What about UT Dallas? It has 11,760 enrolled which is considerably smaller than Austin (38,437 enrolled) and A&M (39,867 enrolled).
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    You are basing your opinions on very superficial things. It is silly to think that you would still be lost at a school after being there for awhile. As if every day you would still feel like a visitor who didn't know their way around. Are you that oblivious?

    Just dorm wherever the first year. It doesn't really matter. After that, you will know better for your following years and can make informed choices.

    Once you go to a school, you will never deal with the financial calculator again. You have applied, so you will get your aid package and use that. I don't know why you are so concerned about that. Also, you will never deal with the admissions office again after you enter a college. Great or poor, they aren't going to be part of your college experience.

    I think bubbles said it best "
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,389 Forum Champion
    You can go to a smaller school as a STEM major -- you just would need to do some research and find ones that have strong programs.
  • JoblueJoblue Registered User Posts: 1,274 Senior Member
    The first time I went to Texas A&M, I could not stand it. It was huge. I felt lost. I felt like I could not find my way around or figure anything out

    You do realize that you will be changing a lot over the next few years and will change your mind about a lot of things? At least, I hope you will. College is not just for academic growth, it's for getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing personal growth. We see a lot of freshmen posting after a week or two, moaning about how they never wanted to attend the school at which they are enrolled, saying that they are miserable and have no friends, and wanting to transfer asap. I realize we are talking about 17/18 y.o. kids but their unhappiness is entirely self-inflicted.

    After a month on the largest campus, kids know their way around. After 4 years, the biggest school can start to feel too confining and the seniors are usually ready to move on. Remember, you don't know what you don't know yet so try to open your mind a bit. It's possible you could find great happiness at the big state schools you are dismissing right now. You won't be 16 forever (and thank God for that ;)).
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