I hate college, what do I do?

I’m currently in my first year at a really great college that everyone seems to love except me. I transferred from a pretty terrible school last semester, and I thought that everything would be fixed once I came here, but I feel the same: hopeless, sad, homesick, lonely. I already switched my major to something I thought I would really enjoy, but I still don’t feel that excited about classes (I have straight A’s, so I’m not just upset because I’m failing or anything). I would change it again, but I’m hoping to get into med school and don’t want three different majors on my transcript. I go to a lot of campus events and I’ve made some amazing friends but I honestly just wish I was back home with my old crew from high school. I also go to the gym every day and go into town on the weekends. I don’t know what else I should do, and I’m afraid that it will only get worse once I start doing internships and getting clinical hours for med school. Is it true that sophomore year is when it gets better for everyone? Because I don’t know if I can take three more years of this.

Freshman, I’m so sorry you are feeling so down. I’m not sure how many upperclassman you’ll get on here who can weigh in with their 2nd-4th year experiences. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I remember much about my Freshman year (mine seemed like a continuation of high school… I was a commuter and lived at home.) I got an apartment with a friend from work Sophomore year, so that was definitely more fun (but still a grind commuting to school.) However, I do remember just slogging through all the general curriculum classes those first 2 years. I was SO HAPPY Junior year when all I had was my major math and statistics classes. (I get the feeling the exploratory classes are more interesting these days however.) I would suggest that you make an appointment to talk with the counselors at your school. They obviously have dealt with this issue and likely have the wisdom and advice to help talk you through what you’re feeling. Use your academic advisors too who might have suggestions. You sound very smart and are doing all the right things to get engaged and stay healthy, so keep that up. I’d also suggest you go home for Springbreak if you can, spend time with family and old friends, compare notes, etc. Those that know and love you most want the best for you and are there to help. Good luck.

Your old crew from high school are moving ahead with their lives. You can’t go home again. It sounds like you may have clinical depression. Have you sought counselling and an evaluation?

FYI, your transcript will only show the major/s you complete. It will not show any of your switches. Lots of freshmen, and even many sophomores, change their majors multiple times.

Example: In my first year of college, I was an English major, a poli sci major, and at least one other thing before I settled on my final choices. My transcript shows a double major in Anthropology and Philosophy because those are the ones I finished. My transcript doesn’t say anything, anywhere about English, Political Science or whatever the other one was.

When you say "hopeless, sad, homesick, lonely. I already switched my major to something I thought I would really enjoy, but I still don’t feel that excited about classes " this makes me think you should be evaluated for Depression. Today, go to the Counseling Center and make an appointment. They may help refer you to an outside doctor.

School is basically 4 years of stress and “suck.” It’s that way by design and it only gets harder. The idea is to thank the Lord everyday for the privilege and opportunity of getting an education. I would recommend making an appointment with the health center and possibly seeing a psychiatrist. A few weeks of therapy can make a world of difference.

I’d recommend you major in your favorite high school subject, get a credential, and go back and teach in high school. That’s the only way you can (sort of) go back to your high school days.

“School is basically 4 years of stress and “suck.” It’s that way by design and it only gets harder.”

I completely disagree.

OP, I also think you should go see a counselor ASAP.

I agree with others that this sounds like a medical issue, specifically depression. I think that you should get counseling. The medical community is getting a lot better than they used to be at dealing with depression (which by the way is also true of allergies – another problem that is probably largely caused by some sort of subtle chemical imbalance). With proper treatment the odds are that you can do very well where you are now.

If you can’t handle the academics right now then you could take a medical leave of absence until you get the medical stuff fixed. Whether to do this should be up to you.

I agree with others that you can’t go back to high school. Those days are over.

I disagree that it’s obviously a medical condition. (!!!) (OMG!) But it sounds like talking to a counselor would be helpful.

Just because an aspirin cures a headache does not mean that you have a chemical deficit for aspirin. There are many things you can do before heading down the track towards taking drugs because some people who have never ever met you, total strangers, online no less, who probably skim-read your original question, none of whom are professional therapists, these people diagnose you with a medical, chemical imbalance. Oy. (What is the world coming to??)

Talking to a counselor can help you figure out what’s going on, sure. Absolutely. It’s perfectly normal to feel sad, lonely and even depressed sometimes without necessarily being clinically depressed and needing to take drugs. In this day and age of “take a pill and it will cure you” people often forget that feeling down often is a helpful signal that you need to change something in your life. You maybe need to change something BIG and so you are resisting doing so, because it feels impossible to do – that can make you feel sad and despondent.

You are not alone. This is normal. Your campus has many facilities that can help you and many people you can talk to. Meeting with you in person would help them help you.


  • Talking to a career counselor
  • Talking to a psychological counselor
  • Getting exercise every day outside can raise moods and help with anxiety (the flipside of depression) -- and could lead you down a path to new interests and new friends,
  • Joining new clubs on campus could do the same thing.
  • Taking a break from school is something that was common a few decades ago and now seems to alarm some parents. Who knows why? I personally think this is very healthy and helpful. Many schools offer leaves of absences to try out something outside of school. Harvard recommends a blanket gap year for everyone. What would you do during that time? There are so many things that you could try, none of which is an expensive gap-year program. All of which will help you explore and grow.

— The Student Conservation Corps–has quite-short to quite-long internships available, that often include housing, and/or a little pay – or at least expenses are paid for. The opportunities range from taking care of sled dogs in alaska to doing historical research in an archive in Massachusetts, to counting endangered wild foul in Texas, to helping with archeological digs in Utah, and fish farming in Maine. https://www.thesca.org/serve/young-adult-programs
— Workaway – is a clearinghouse for “volunteer” positions all over the world. You work for a few hours a day and you get a room and sometimes a meal for your time. The rest of the day is yours. https://www.workaway.info/
---- Volunteer.gov – is a website that lists government-centered volunteer positions, some of which include housing. They range from running a counter at a gift shop in a national park to helping with upkeep of campsites – https://www.volunteer.gov/
– Coolworks – lists paying positions in really amazing places around the country. These listings update all the time. They include housing often – https://www.coolworks.com/

If none of these appeal to you, you can always go home (or to a friend’s house or a relative’s house) and work for Habitat for Humanity, a local nursing home or community center, scoop ice cream, or work at any other local business or government org for a few months. No matter what job you choose, you will learn so much. You wil grow so much. You will have so many adventures. Any and all of these will help you discover the direction that is right for you in this world.

Hi I regret to say I don’t have much advice, but know exactly what you’re going through. I’m in my first year as well t what I think is a great school, but can’t seem to actually love it myself. this is why ive been considering transferring next year, however the chance of not being happy all over again terrifies me. It definitely helps me to talk to people who feel similarly to me, so feel free talk about this further together!