Can anyone suggest good schools for me to transfer to so I don't repeat this experience...

I am currently a freshmen at a big midwestern university and Ive had a lot of trouble making friends here. I don’t really have anyone to go out with on the weekends because everyone in my dorm seems to be in a frat or sorority. I missed rush which was the first week of school. And I don’t meet anyone in my huge classes. I am thinking about transferring to a smaller school in the northeast but I want to make sure it is a school that I can make friends in after this experience. I should have mostly A- and B pluses this year (although a possible C plus in Calc) My hs grades were decent but not top top and I got a 34 on my ACT. TIA

Do you have a job on campus? If not, look for one. That will give you a natural way to meet people. I used to work the Friday and Saturday evening shifts at a the library of a big midwestern university which kept me from feeling that I didn’t have a social life - because of course I did! All of us on the evening library crew (and our regular evening library patrons) got to be great friends. I’m still in touch with some of them many years later.

Do you have any classes that require lab sections or team projects? Are there any electives that you could choose that would have smaller classes? Have you looked into any clubs on campus? Have you walked by the theater department and checked to see if they need any volunteers to help with sets/costumes/ticket sales? Have you joined any committees or intramural teams for your department or your dorm? All of those would be ways to help you meet more people.

Where are you from, and how is it that you chose this particular university? Why only smaller schools in the northeast? The midwest is positively crawling with decent smaller schools, many of which have limited frat/sorority presence.

Hi, and thank you for your suggestions. While a job is a good way to meet people, I had been envisioning my weekend nights at parties, or at least socializing in the dorms but that has just not happened for me. I have joined a club and intramurals and I like it but it hasn’t lead to any friendships. i am sure this is partly my fault. Anyway, I am from the northeast and I thought a smaller school might be easier to meet people - although I am not sure if that would be true if I were coming in as a sophomore. Therefore a school with a lot of transfers would be ideal.

" I had been envisioning my weekend nights at parties, or at least socializing in the dorms but that has just not happened for me. "

What was your social life like in high school? Did you have a bazillion friends and party all weekend long?

Looking back, how long did it take for you to create your high school friendships? Were they instantaneous, or did they grow slowly over the years. College relationships can take time to develop too. And, sometimes getting them started requires stepping out of your comfort zone. After that club/intramural event, invite one person to go for coffee/ice cream/etc.

If you do decide to transfer, attend every single transfer orientation event and mixer. Talk with people. Set dates for lunch/dinner/coffee/etc. If your orientation event includes people from your major, choose the same section of at least one of the classes required for your major. That way both of you will walk into class with at least one friend.

First, for next semester, register now for small classes: intro to a foreign language, writing, speech/communication, an honors section, a freshman seminar… Choose classes with 25 students and under whenever possible.
If you’re not in the honors college, apply now. Deadline may have passed but may not. Do this today.
That’s in case you can’t transfer (most deadlines were in October).
What are you interested in? There may be smaller colleges offering what you want still accepting applications.
What’s your budget? (Transfers get lousy aid).

I suggest that you should meet with a counselor as the school psychological services. There is a lot of school year in front of you regardless of whether you end up transferring and you sound quite unhappy. Talking things over with someone trained in dealing with these issues can help.

Transferring may not be the panacea you expect. There are no doubt cultural differences between midwest and northeast, but it doesn’t seem like an unbridgeable gap. Other than that, the experience at a smaller college (other than a LAC) is likely to be pretty similar to where you are now. Even in a class of 50 students will file in, listen quietly to the lecture, and leave; 50 or 500, it doesn’t really matter. They aren’t a place where many students find their friends. Dorms are where many students socialize, but you’re already in a dorm so much of what will be changing is the climate. At a new U there are clubs and intramurals, but you’re already taking part in those.

^ I agree that a lecture with 50 or 500 is not fundamentally different but

  1. if 40-50, your professor might know you
  2. at small colleges, classes are 16-18 or perhaps 24, except for a few large classes. Most are discussion based or interactive.