I regret my college decision so much

i’ve posted my problems on reddit to highlight the more technical aspects of my problems, but i just need an emotional release right now. i feel so awful about the college i committed to. move-in is in 3 days and i have neglected packing because i have been so terribly depressed about leaving.

here’s a little timeline:

late February- i get accepted into said college and commit immediately. why? a lot of my friends were going to this school, and i guess i had some sort of warped expectation of what college life is about. had dreams of being roommates with my friends. also its a top public university and i was drawn to the fact that it guaranteed a lot of opportunities (yet i still didn’t know what i wanted to major in)

March- realizing that my roommate dreams fell apart. people ended up making their own plans. i could’ve roomed with another one of my friends, but i was offered the chance to live in a brand new building specifically for honors students and didn’t want to give that up so i went looking for roommates on my own (big mistake) i eventually find a roommate, she’s sweet but we still don’t even know each other that well

June- visit the campus again for orientation. we went in the past but it was a very brief tour. we really got to examine the campus and area this time around. i get in a really bad fight with my mom because she was pointing out all these awful things about the campus (how far the college is from home (6 hours), how dangerous the outside town is, how run-down the art college building is, how non-diverse the students are (im hispanic)) but i keep arguing back against her. i was unwilling to acknowledge these facts because i already felt too committed to this school, but the realization hit me and i immediately broke down

after seeing that campus, my mom offered to drive us all the way to another college campus that was closer to home (only 3 hours), just to tour it and see other options. i was actually also accepted to this school, but i quickly brushed it aside because i was so hyperfixated on school A. the campus was really nice and modern, and the art building was miles better. i went to admissions and was able to have an offer to be admitted to their fall class. perfect right? wrong! i ended up panicking and stressing so hard over leaving college A which caused me to decline the offer to college B.

July- at this point i had settled back into the idea of going to college A and making the best of it. but at the end of the month i began having another breakdown over missing my mom and living so far away. this led to a big conversation about my motivation to go to this school, which ended up being just to “live the college experience”, chase the affection of my friends, and have the reputation of the school. i began having doubts in my career choice as well, leaning away from graphic design and more towards accounting. but to this moment im still not fully committed to a career. i also find out around this time that the fancy new buildings for honors kids are majority traditional style rooms (yes, this means communal bathrooms).

ive spent the entirety of the past few weeks figuring out information to go to a local community college and transfer to college B in the spring. everything has fallen into place. i can transfer my scholarships there, i could carpool with a friend whos attending, and i could end up rooming with one of my friends who is going to college B. ive managed to get my transcripts and residency done at the CC (which took ages and lots of phone calls).

the problem? i still feel awful about leaving college A. i have never cried so much and so hard in my entire life over the thought of leaving my family, and yet for some reason i still feel obligated to go to college A despite all the red flags. i could’ve let go of this college weeks ago, and yet here i am today, the last day to cancel our hotel for move-in, still torturing myself over this decision. i have talked to friends, my mom, redditors, my abuela, even a crisis hotline because i feel absolutely horrible. i feel so sorry for my mom, who has had to live in this perpetual state of “is she going or not?” which has ruined our potential last days together. it feels like there are two people in my head telling me to stay or to go and i have not been able to reach a conclusion. i feel like im just letting time pass to force myself into going so i can blame circumstances as opposed to myself for this awful choice of mine. everyone tells me the decision is my own. i know that, and thats what makes this so hard for me. ive grown used to having people tell me what to do and where to go that for the first time ever i am completely lost. no dreams or aspirations, just a desire to survive.

i only have until midnight tonight to change my mind and stay home. i get so scared that staying here would be letting my anxiety win and letting a great opportunity go by. but i also know that staying here would give me more time to prepare emotionally, get a job to learn life skills, and ease myself into college life. but i feel deep down like a failure for not being able to suck it up and go to College A.

any advice?

You’ve left College A. They don’t hold a grudge against you. They’ve filled your spot and moved on.

Now it’s time to realize that you’ve built up a huge story around the ideal experience and NO college is perfect…not one.

The college experience will be what it will be and most people look back no matter where they went with fond memories. Let that reassure you.

I’d also suggest you throw your approach on its head. Intentionally do not room with someone you know. My son did this and he’s still great friends with his best friend in HS who went to the same school that he didn’t room with and great friends with his first year roommate, now four years since graduating. It allowed him to meet a completely new circle of friends.

Best of luck. You’ll be fine. It will be what you make of it.


I would encourage you to go. My bet is you’ll have some wonderful experiences and be happy. But if you aren’t, you can always transfer out for the spring or next year.


I didn’t catch this part. I agree 100% with @lkbtnc…go! If you hate it (you won’t) transfer. You picked it for a reason and now the reality of a new journey is wigging you out. Go. Make the best of it. See where you land. I think you’ll be much more upset if you bail. Hang in there!


that’s what i was leaning towards. i still cant help but feel so sad over leaving my mom. i have separation anxiety and have not had much experience with being away from home so the thought of leaving is killing me. is there any way to make this easier?

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Of course none of us is in your shoes but my first take is that you are way overthinking this, which is a natural thing to do. The reality is both colleges likely will be great – there’s not a bad outcome. Roommates and dorm bathrooms mean almost nothing in the end either. They are short term minor issues you are focused on because you have time to – once you start classes they won’t matter. And it sounds like you and your mother are just in the early stages of anxiety over separation, but this too will pass and in the long run you will look back and realize that was also not a great reason to chose A or B. It’s a necessary evolution in your relationship whether it happens now or in a few years. I would also, gently, suggest your mom throwing shade at college A was an emotional reaction on her part so I would not put much stock in it – it came from a place of love but not reason… On the other hand, college A won’t mind if you rescind. Don’t worry about that either.

Bottom line, relax and just do whichever feels right in your heart – don’t add up these little pros and cons, just your absolute gut. Then stop second guessing, because either outcome will work out fine. Most people love their college in the end whether it was their first choice or not.


Which is quite usual - many first-years across the country, even in elite schools, deal with that. It’s OK!

If it’s a top public university, then no matter what major you’ll eventually settle on, including many that you don’t even know about yet, you’ll be at a good place to pursue!

Most importantly, this is YOUR life - you need to let go of high school friends (you’ll make new ones!), and your Mom won’t live your life for you either. It’s okay to be 6 hours away - there’ll be plenty of other students in the same boat. You’re still close enough to make it home during breaks without “breaking the bank”.

You only owe yourself - which means, you also don’t owe college A. If you ultimately decide against it for YOUR reasons, then don’t look back. But don’t decide against college A, out of consideration for anyone but yourself.

Personally, I hope you’ll give it a try, and start on the path to your own life. But, I don’t know you, your personality, your resilience etc. - so no one can here really give you “good” advice that is right for YOU!


You poor kid! I just want to give you a hug! :heart:

Most of the kids in your shoes probably feel similar anxieties, AND not every senior is ready after 4 months to jump into college life. Personally, I think it takes a lot of maturity and introspection to conclude that you might have chosen college A for the wrong reasons (friends, prestige, etc), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have it in you to make it the best experience you can. You’ve also done a lot of work to figure out college B, so you obviously are ready for whichever scenario you choose.

I guess I would suggest you do a thought exercise. First, picture yourself one month from now at college A, not with all the fears and anxieties, but with the best possible imaginations - your roommate is cool, you like your classes, etc. Now picture yourself one month from now at the CC and working and doing what you need to, to get to college B in the spring, again, with the best of imaginations. No worst-case scenarios here…

Which scenario feels better?

No one can tell you what’s right for you. That’s the part of growing up that can suck sometimes.

And guess what, whichever choice you make, nothing is forever. Tomorrow is always a new day, with the chance to go in a different direction. So please, repeat after me 'it will be ok, I will be ok," and it really will, no matter what you decide.

Good luck!! :pray:t2:


This is good. There will be a LOT of opportunities at any “top public university”. There will be a lot of students who are like you in ways that matter (which might not include all aspects of your background).

This sounds like a good thing. There will be plenty of strong students (like you) among the honors students in this new dorm.

I had a housemate when I was in graduate school. He taught me how to cook several types of Mexican food. I loved the food. It never occurred to me that he was “hispanic”, or that being hispanic was even a thing. He was a smart guy, a pleasant guy, a friend, and he taught me how to cook some great food.

No university is perfect. There will be a wide range of students at any good large university. Many will be very smart. Many will have interesting interests. A few will be annoying. There will be many very good professors. There will be many interesting classes, and some classes that you love, and a few that you do not like. Some dates will go well, so more so-so. Life will go on. You will find a lot of opportunities.

I think that you are suffering from normal nervousness.


How do you think the thousands of other students deal with that? Maybe initially, there’ll be plenty of “getting to know” and “making friends” and “figuring out campus” - that doesn’t involve the town. Later, you’ll have a friend circle and (assuming the town REALLY is that bad), you’ll make a point of always sticking together with a group while all of you become “street smart” in town, which areas are okay, which ones/times/routes to avoid,…

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Regular texting, phone calls. It’s much easier to keep in touch now than when i was in college. Back then it was a phone call once a week on the hall phone. I was 4.5 hours away from home and didn’t see my family except on breaks. Many students will be in your situation.


I know someone, who is now a practicing physician, married with kids, living across the country, yet still makes a point of having a quick video chat with Mom at some point of the day, EVERY day.

Yes, one can maintain as close a relationship as one desires, nowadays.


I would go to college A. Cold feet are normal. Rooming with someone new and living in a traditional dorm are great ways to meet new people. If you stuck with people you knew from high school you might miss out. You can FaceTime with mom. You will find your people. You will learn to navigate the area and find things you love about it. It’s a lot of change at once. I know it’s intimidating but you can do this!


First of all, you are not alone, and there’s nothing wrong. This is just one more step of you growing up.
Second of all, whatever you decide, it is the right decision. You’re doing your best to make a decision, and that decision is the best for you as this time, so it is the right one.
You’ll be fine. Your mom will be fine.

I can’t tell you what to do, and no one here knows your specific family dynamic, mental health situation, or other challenges. Any advice comes from our own perspectives and contexts, which may or may not make sense to yours.

What I do want to tell you is that nothing is irreversible. If you go, you can come back home, you can transfer, whatever. If you don’t go, you can go to a similar school in a year, or in two years.

My kids are both in college and they get anxious, too. I used to cheer them on by saying the given situation isn’t forever and that they can make it through. I am a rule follower, and I like to stick to the plan. But the last few years have taught me that it’s ok if you need a new plan. They seem to have greater peace in knowing that it’s ok to change.


So you don’t want a roomie from home - so that’s a bonus.

You have home sickness early.

Go - stick it out, get involved, meet others and you’ll struggle and then one day (by end first semester, you won’t even realize it, how much you love school.

You picked it - you can go anywhere and find flaws - that’s not uncommon. You’re scared to leave mom and it’s not easy but with FaceTime, she’s not far away.


I know a young woman who allmost didn’t go to a school in another part of the country because of the same anxieties about leaving home and family. I remember her mom gave her a Xanax to get her to go! I thought that was misguided at the time, to say the least, but she went and thrived.

I guess the best thing to realize is that you will be okay no matter what you decide. Leaving home for college can be life falling off a cliff and some people need a gentle slope- so to speak.

If you do go to College A (and it is 12:30am now) you may be homesick through the fall. I have seen this many times. Students seem to feel better by February.

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I think you would really regret leaving the Honors College at your state’s flagship to go to CC.
Sounds like College B is willing to re admit you, no problem… it’ll still be the case in the Spring.
So, give College A a go.
Join clubs, participate in Honors activities (even ice breakers that sound silly), choose at least 1 class just because it sounds cool even if it has nothing to do with your major (in fact, especially if it doesn’t!)
Not being rommates with HS friends is the best way for you to keep them as friends :+1:
Pack things that will make college a bit more like home. Could be wall decorations, pictures, a colorful rug, spices to add to the cafeteria food.
Decide to join the Hispanic club and the Spanish table. You’ll meet tons of interesting people, many upper class students who went through some of the same things as you and who’ll have tips and advice.
If you grew in a church, see if there’s one for college students.
You can do this!


Zoom can really help with separation from family. Make use of it!

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If it makes you feel any better, my son lives in Warsaw, Poland and he and I have a very close relationship. I literally talk/text with him more often than with my daughter who lives 20 minutes away from me.

And just as I was about to start typing this post, I got a WhatsApp message from him - “Can I call?” So I had to delay posting until I talked to him. :slightly_smiling_face: