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unhappy child

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Replies to: unhappy child

  • momjrmomjr Registered User Posts: 2,189 Senior Member
    I think your daughter should take some of the suggestions here and try to get involved in something next semester. At the same time, I think she should research transfer options and apply to some schools closer to home. I agree with the poster who said that the distance may be a issue. I've seen a lot of kids in my area go far away only to transfer to a closer school after the first semester or year. Sometimes a school or location just isn't the right fit, and the best thing you can do is make a change.
  • xShadow63xShadow63 Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    I'm exactly the same way. I went to a different high school because of IB for my freshman year, and made absolutely no friends. I blamed it on the school, and transferred back to my home high school - which I now deeply regret.

    I'm in my freshman year of college now, and I knew absolutely no one when I came here. I didn't have the option of transferring, though, because I'm here on a full ride. So I went out and did things I liked - play basketball, go out and explore some of the clubs, even doing things like going to chess club. I hung out with my roommates, and made friends through that. I met a couple of guys while playing basketball, who told me about their fraternity - I went out to the Greek Life BBQ, and met quite a few people there. Now I'm in a fraternity, and meet new people all the time. I'm pretty shy myself, and would never have gone up to random people at a party or social gathering before. However, you have to gather up the confidence and just do it. Once you start doing this, it's really easy to make friends.

    If she's at all interested in Greek Life, I would highly suggest getting involved with that. Otherwise she should just go out and do things she enjoys, and she's bound to meet people with similar interests.
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    If she's not happy and she's hinting at wanting to transfer, let her. It's not a big deal to transfer. Suggest that she prepare and submit a few transfer applications for the fall. This will give her options at the end of the academic year. Encourage her to stick it out at her current school for the entire year, but get those transfer apps out for next fall just in case the situation doesn't improve at her current school.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Here are some key points from the OP which is why I think she should consider sticking it out longer and trying harder to meet people -
    She is staying tied to a high school friend and is not really making friends at school...
    I am not sure if she even knows how having been at a small all girls school.

    and given that this is an 'elite' school she might want to make sure she doesn't blow it off too quickly since she might end up regretting it.
    I have a kid who got into an elite school.
    Consider the on-campus job idea. It has lots of different benefits but one of them might be making different friends. The generally meet fellow students also working there, perhaps students they interact with, and also staff and profs on a different level.

    I agree that ultimately she might be better off elsewhere but I think she should give this 'the good ole college try'.
  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,241 Senior Member
    OP, as you can see from all the good if at-odds advice and anecdotes above, there is no real way to know what may work best for your student. Some are shy. Some need more time to acclimate. Some have just turned off and will never feel a good fit. Some should stay and some should go.

    Some questions: Is this a college her peers and family urged her to attend? Now that the social going is tough--is she second guessing why she is there? Or, perhaps, did she think this school would offer intellectual/social peers and yet feels less on-the-same-page with the kids in reality? If so, I'd be inclined to let her make a new start at a transfer school so she has full ownership of her education and adult life.

    However, if this college was truly her dream and has the major she wants--and seeing as she is doing well academically, I'm wondering what schools is she suggesting she transfer to? Could that give a hint as to what is going so wrong? For instance, are they closer to home or smaller and have more of a family or perhaps religious or other attractive-to-her vibe? She knows herself a little better, now, and it's hard to discount this discovery as she is learning more about herself.

    If she seems defeated, please give her a hug. It's a brave thing to leave everyone behind and go to college 3000 miles away--especially for those who are on the shyer end of the scale. Maybe a pep talk will do. Or... maybe she needs to give you a pep talk about her change of direction?
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    3000 miles is a long way away... several time zones.

    That said, my D has two friends on her campus who talked about transferring because they missed their friends from home, who had gone to college much closer to their homes. A couple of days ago (during Christmas break) she received a text from one of them: "I miss college! I miss you and our friends there!" That friend has decided not to transfer after all. She had to be away from campus for 2 weeks to realize how much she really loved her campus and her friends there.

    Maybe being home will help the OP's daughter to realize she likes it there after all.... or maybe it will cement her decision to come back closer to home. If she does, it's not the end of the world. It sounds like she can succeed academically wherever she goes, so if she's not giving up substantial merit money or transferring to a much more expensive college, and she will be happier, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I guess the question is if the OP's daughter will really be happier at another college - is the problem where she is, or is the problem that she has trouble meeting new people?
  • csfmapcsfmap Registered User Posts: 455 Member
    I agree with those advising that she return for second semester because many do learn to love where they're at by the end of freshman year. I think the courage to return for second semester might come easier if she knew that, after sticking it out for one more semester, she would have her parent's blessing and support if she decides to transfer for her second year.
  • idadidad Registered User Posts: 5,028 Senior Member
    Friend's D lasted one semester at a highly regarded private for similar reasons, transferred to a state flagship close to home not ranked in the top 100. She thrived at the new school and is now in graduate school at Harvard.
  • OlympicLadyOlympicLady Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    Laf & Csf I think have it more right than wrong. I think it is very common to come home at winter break, ready to tell the folks it's a NO GO, and they are planning a transfer Or come home to local U. About a week into break, the 'rents are driving them crazy, the HS friends are not the "same" and back to school they go, often times loving the second semester of freshman year- and they are on their way.

    Two years ago my nephew was on a family ski trip/holiday gathering at Tahoe with his family and all of mine. I walked into the cabin, started talking and out jumps "Z. have you told your parents you are not going back to "fill in top Uni"? His shock was hilarious, but his mother's reaction was priceless! He sputtered a bit and asked how I knew, and I said that's pretty much how most feel about this time. He said after this past week with family in a cabin/skiing/cabin/games etc. he was now certain he was going back. His mother still can't believe the whole interaction. He is happy as a clam these days.

    Not saying a transfer is not a good idea, maybe encourage a transfer app. and more involvement on campus next semester and let it be. You never know what spring will bring. It only takes one good friend to turn it all around.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,890 Senior Member
    Another take on things. What about her classes. Does she like the academics? Can she see herself thriving in her major there?
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Another anecdote from a party last night. Friend was telling me how in her first semester, she called home all the time, wanting to go home. Was homesick, made no friends at all, hated it...then in second semester, things just clicked and she had a blast socially. It just took awhile for her to 'take off'. For some it just takes more time.

    And also if you already have someone from back home to hold onto, maybe it can be too easy not to reach out and work at it.
  • DebrunsDebruns Registered User Posts: 2,794 Senior Member
    I also agree that you don't always take your problems with you school to school. Sometimes it is the school and the vibe there. I've known studnets that were not big party types transfer to a school where they found it easier to meet like-minded people, some loved a smaller, more compact campus.
    My son joined clubs, did workstudy first year, but nothing really clicked until someone asked him a question in the library, they talked, met up later, and a friendship started.
    Sometimes clubs and friends can be very "high school" cliquey on campus, people are friendly, say Hello, but you never do anything together outside of the club. I've found that as an adult also, being friendly and "friends" isn't the same thing, that takes more work.

    One thing I stressed with my kids though, staying in your room wont help, you have to make an effort to get out. I remember two friends tellling me they both were miserable at the same school, but never knew each other then, met a few years later at work. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone a bit and sometimes good things happen.
  • momma-threemomma-three Registered User Posts: 2,762 Senior Member
    I would also recommend joining an organization that she has some interest in such as Habitat for Humanity, Business Frat, or some type of community service org. When people are involved in something they care about, the world around them seems a little smaller. This is especially true at large elite schools where the rigor of the academics could lend itself to alot of work and less social contact from Sunday to Thursday. She has to think about making a niche somehow in this large school...for my sons it was joining organizations that they viewed as important and worthwhile. Good luck!!! She should think long and hard before leaving the untapped opportunities behind.
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