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Is it better to go to college cheap and miserable, or expensive and in debt?

smileyriley98smileyriley98 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I am currently enrolled in a university very close to home and am absolutely miserable. I am in the architecture at the university, and I absolutely love the architecture part... but I don’t have any friends and the first semester is already coming to an end. To be clear...I am pretty sad with my current situation, but I am practically going to school for free right now, aside from food expenses. This brings up the question... do I transfer to another school or do I stay in the current situation I am in. Of course, things could get better with time... but they haven’t gotten there yet so I’m very pessimistic at this stage. My overall goal is to be a pretty big architect, as well, so I also fear that staying at this small, unknown university won’t get me to where I want, unlike going to a larger university in New York or California. Although, then, will I even get noticed in the large crowd of aspiring architect students?? Thoughts/ opinions/ suggestions?
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Replies to: Is it better to go to college cheap and miserable, or expensive and in debt?

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,890 Senior Member
    What have you done so far to meet people? Are you living on campus?
  • smileyriley98smileyriley98 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    No, it is a commuter school. I’ve tried to get together with the people in the program but everyone has their own lives and pastimes.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    Have you looked at other options in your state? Architecture at the big name firms is a field where quality of undergraduate and then graduate school matters as the schools are known by their name professors. That said plenty of architects work in small firms, it’s just usually means different types of projects - if you want to work on big transformational mixed-use projects then they kind of work happens at the big name firms.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,686 Senior Member
    Architecture is not the highest paying field, and is subject to cyclical downturns, so heavy debt can be pretty miserable.

    If you are in a BArch program for close to free, that is great. If you are in a BA/BS program, be aware that you will need to do an MArch later, which can be expensive, so heavy undergraduate debt may limit your options for that.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 32,420 Senior Member
    Even a commuter school usually has activities.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,905 Forum Champion
    Do you have a job
    Do you have friends at your job
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple Registered User Posts: 1,438 Senior Member
    One can make friends wherever s/he goes in life. I suggest you look inward to yourself to find your answers rather than believing it is due to the school.
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    @Empireapple whereas that's true, there are certain obstacles built in to some situations, that don't exist in other situations.

    Please don't blame the OP. I suggest that you look inside of yourself to see why you feel the need to blame the OP rather than empathizing and helping to solve the problem.

    In this case, the OP is at a commuter campus, and that does make things more difficult. One issue, as the OP has alluded to already, is that people come to those schools with their original lives in tact. They don't need to seek out friends on campus, because their friend networks are still going at home. This is typical for a commuter campus. That plus students don't tend to hang out on campus, as they do at residential schools or in jobs. In jobs, people are there for 8 hours, on average. In commuter college, Student A has one class at 8 am, then goes home or to a job, then comes back for 4 PM class, then has to go pick up kid sister from daycare for the mom, or help family get the car fixed. They don't hang out and play Frisbee between classes, as in a residential school.
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    And clearly the OP is attempting to do just that.

    Or did that part of the empathy train pass you and the other person by this morning?

    the OP has reached out to the larger community for advice, that;s part of fixing the problem. The OP is stating that he/she is attempting to make friends on campus and the OP is looking at other options, like maybe just maybe this school isn't right for him/her.

    That's also valid. If he/she was miserable at a job would you say: stick with it. it's a great job. look inside yourself to fix the job.

    Or would you say, Hm OP interesting question. Let's look at your options . . . .
  • dfbdfbdfbdfb Registered User Posts: 3,862 Senior Member
    Giving advice you don't like≠showing a lack of empathy.

    And that's all I have to say on this digression, really.
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