Explaining Reasons for Transferring to Parents

<p>Hi, I'm currently a sophomore in college. I graduated near the top of my high school class (not openly ranked, but awarded). I attend a moderately prestigious private institution, but I'm trying to transfer back to my state school. My parents know that I'm miserable (or semi-miserable) here, but they don't understand why.</p>

<p>My parents wanted me to come here originally, and I had to turn down a more prestigious college. I didn't mind much, but my high school friends made a big deal about it and acted all fake-sympathetic. Anyway, I was determined to make the most out of my college experience, even though I entertained the idea of transferring all throughout freshman year. I went to all my classes, met new people (I started off knowing no one), made friends, tagged along to a couple of club meetings, and later joined a professional fraternity. I'm currently studying abroad.</p>

<p>The few times I suggested the option of transferring to my parents, I wasn't taken seriously (but back then, I was still caught up in thinking that optimism will make everything okay).</p>

<p>Last semester, I called up the more prestigious university that had once accepted me, begging them to take me back. I was even willing to repeat a year there. Of course, I was told I'd have to reapply. With pretty much perfect grades if I still wanted to pursue my current major there (one of their top programs). At the time, I got over it.</p>

<p>Suddenly, I'm abroad and something in me snapped. I realized that this would be my last chance to get out of my current college. My grades are decent, but no longer great (and it keeps dropping along with my morale). There was no way I could get good recommendations from professors on such short notice (I hadn't really participated much in most of my classes). On top of that, I had no idea what to write for a transfer essay. Thankfully, my state university had a really simple application: it didn't accept recommendations, and the essay portion was optional. I filled out the standard contact/background information, attached my resume, and was done.</p>

<p>If I do get accepted and transfer (my major, again, is capped unfortunately, though acceptance in the school is unrelated), I would have essentially thrown away 2 years of private school tuition (minus scholarship). My parents know I'm miserable here, but that's all that I'm able to convey. They don't understand when I explain that my college's environment is not a good fit for me. They still see private to public, prestigious (moderately) to average. (This is exactly why I'm planning on just disappearing home without notifying any of my friends here, including my best friend and roommate.)</p>

<p>If I were to be more explicit, i.e. claim that I disliked being placed amongst hyper-competitive and sometimes catty classmates, my parents would assume that I'm oversensitive and weak. They've told me before to "just focus on my own studies" when I suggested it a while back. But overly-competitive classmates/friends aren't exactly avoidable (the ones make themselves known and are clingy). There's also widespread cheating going on. People even brag about cheating, but it's never caught. It's overall a pretty disappointing place.</p>

<p>If I were to complain about hard classes and grade deflation, my parents might lose confidence in my academic ability (like my high school friends not-so-subtly did after I turned down the "prestigious" college). Honestly, the material itself isn't too hard. It's mainly the grading curve. Every point counts. And it makes it harder the way everyone pulls all-nighters back-to-back around exam time. I usually end up cramming.</p>

<p>I've already expressed my dislike of the campus and city, though my parents don't believe that it's a passionate enough of an explanation. Truth be told, I don't think I could get into a equally prestigious college, and that's why I've put off applying for transfer until now, when there's not much left to do. I also was still bitter about passing up the prestigious college, and wasn't about to turn down another one. I don't want to admit it to my parents though, the fact that I'm not doing as well as I had hoped academically (cumulative GPA of 3.43 now, down from the 3.58 first semester, neither of which are acceptable for transferring/ibanking).</p>

<p>My parents are now concluding that I either have little/no friends here, or have gone through some type of relationship-related drama. Needless to say, I'm extremely offended. As if BFFs and cute boys were the only thing I could possibly care / be upset about.</p>

<p>Sorry for the length, but that was 2 years of pent up regret.</p>

<p>You sound so unhappy. I am really sorry that your current college isn't a good fit for you. </p>

<p>What made your parents favor this college, particularly over the more prestigious one?</p>

<p>How is your relationship with your parents?</p>

<p>You seem to feel it to be unlikely that your parents will bless your transfer to your state school. In the end, though, will you be able to transfer if accepted? Or will your parents actually prevent/try to prevent you from transferring?</p>

<p>Wow. </p>

<p>I don't know that I have anything useful to suggest; just wanted you to know that I think if you are unhappy, you should indeed aim for a different school. (I went to four, count 'em, four undergraduate schools. :-D My mother never questioned my transferring; I think she was afraid none of her kids would finish college, and I was her best hope. Only one, too, as it turned out.)</p>

<p>Would you consider taking a year off to work, save money, and then return to college, to your state school, paying part of the tuition yourself? That should certainly show your parents that you are serious about transferring, as you'd be "putting your money where your mouth is," as the saying goes.</p>

<p>I am sorry that you are unhappy. It seems like you regret your original loss of the better school. But what makes you think that you'll be happier at the state school?
-You may (or may not) find similar level of competitiveness there.
-I don't see why cheating would be a grater issue at your current school than anywhere else.
-You may not be able to continue in your major (that's a BIG problem, as I am sure you know...)</p>

<p>Are you enjoying your time abroad? If so - maybe you could stay another semester, or even a year?</p>

<p>If you transfer, you would not have "wasted" 2 years of private tuition -- you will graduate from a perfectly acceptable (if not prestigious) university and you will save your parents the cost of paying private tuition at a college where you are unhappy and not doing well. If there was a "waste" it was in going to the private college in the first place, though of course you couldn't have anticipated that -- but there's no point in continuing to pay for that college now that you know that you are not happy there. </p>

<p>My son went to a US News top-tier LAC for his first 2 years, then quit school for 3 years, and then returned to a state U. I think his only regret is that he has had almost all A's at the current college, but even though he is on honor roll every semester, he realized that mathematically it will be impossible for him to graduate with honors this spring because his grades from college #1 have brought his GPA too low. (Basically, he's stuck with a B+ GPA). </p>

<p>However, other than that, he has done very well at his current school, seems to be much happier socially, qualified for extra merit aid his senior year (so he essentially has a full ride) -- and even though the school is less competitive, he has had some profs and classes each semester that he really enjoyed. </p>

<p>The only thing I would caution you about is simply to realize that your in state public will come with its own set of problems -- and of course it can be hard to come into a school as a transfer, especially when you are trying to get into a major where enrollment is limited. So if there is any possibility that you would regret the move if things don't go as hoped... think carefully. </p>

<p>Imagine how you will feel about the whole thing if you get to the state u, can't get into your major, have a hard time fitting in socially, etc -- and then imagine yourself still at college #1 feeling as unhappy as you are now. </p>

<p>I know this sounds odd, but the question is... if you find yourself also unhappy with college #2.... will you feel better because you at least took the initiative to try to make a change, even if it didn't work out? or worse because you will regret making a mistake?</p>

<p>As to your parents: it is your life and your education. As long as it doesn't cost them more money when you opt for the state U, I think this is your decision to make and your parents will just have to get over it. </p>

<p>I'd suggest that you simply wait until you have notice of whether you are accepted, and if you do get into the state U, simply announce to your parents that you have decided to transfer for the coming year. If you announce it as a done deal it is harder for them to argue-- and if they do simply reiterate that you were unhappy with college #1 and you feel the state U. will be a better fit for you at this point.</p>

<p>I'm a transfer student myself. I'll say that you're really lucky that you have a VERY simple application to fill out that doesn't require explanations from you or your professors who would've written letters for you.</p>

<p>BUT what I would suggest for you to convince your parents is to write an essay for that State School on why you want to transfer there. Do it. You need to lay out your plans and goals that you want to accomplish and what is it about the State School that you really like. It might seem silly to write this for nobody but it'll serve a purpose- for you to assess your reasons and the reality of the situation and for your parents to be more supportive.</p>

<p>I just don't feel in your post that you have a very clear idea of why you would want to go to that State School if you have to change your major. It's just really all vague to me.</p>

<p>Cheating happens. I'm shocked that the Honor Board doesn't enforce it. That could be an opportunity for you to help stop the problem- get involved! You'll see hyper-competitive kids all over the place! Even though my school is fairly laid back, our sciences people can get to be that. They really do miss out the learning opportunities by focusing so much on grades. </p>

<p>Grade deflation is actually quite nice if you want to head to graduate school for MBA- there's a curve in the graduate admissions. If your parents think you're just being all sensitive and weak, refute them- "Grade deflation at my school leads to a lot of competition and so no one's really learning anything. But I want to learn something." But your parents are also right- ignore the other kids and focus on YOU. Eventually, you'll be setting up an invisible immunity barrier between you and your competitive classmates that whatever they say or do will bounce off you. And they'll be sorry that they spent too much time focusing on grades instead of really polishing up their learning experiences (I already can see it in some of my honors thesis seminar classmates' faces!).</p>

<p>Isn't it so nice that study abroad can change your perspective entirely? :) Happened to me. It happens to quite a lot of people who eventually realize the reality of their school! I was abroad for 7 months and saw that I didn't have any "true" friends like I had when I was abroad. Fortunately for me, I only had one more year :)</p>

<p>Sent you a PM.</p>