Is not liking school culture a good enough reason to transfer?

I currently go to Oxford College of Emory and am transferring because this place is heavy on pre-professionalism and I’m sick of being asked “are you pre-med?” and “are you pre-bus?” more than “what’s your major?” I can tell that the majority of people I talk to look down upon me for being an English major, and it’s pretty depressing considering I was having doubts about it in the first place. To add on, the school is a total ghost town on weekends, is in the middle of nowhere, and has barely any niche clubs. Yet, I can’t exactly fault the academics because they are strong and they have what I want, even if the way it is structured purposely tries to prevent students from becoming pre-med and makes it extremely difficult for humanities students to take serious science courses.

Also, since Oxford feeds into Emory College, I’ll be on a new campus by my junior year. I could wait it out, but I don’t WANT to, and honestly, I’ve heard similar things about the Emory campus. Socially I’m doing well, extracurriculars have been going great (I joined clubs related to humanities as well), and I’ve gained a lot of confidence and leadership abilities, but sometimes I feel so alienated by most of the student body for simply not being pre-professional that I cry. Even most of the humanities students are pre-law. I’m applying to competitive schools (Barnard, Brown) and also looking for some less competitive liberal arts schools, but I don’t know if this is a good enough reason to transfer. I tried to structure my essay in a way where I emphasize what I have gotten out of the experience and Oxford’s lack of course selection / difficulty for humanities students to take sciences, but when my friend friend at a different school read it they couldn’t tell what the big deal was. I ended up rewriting a rough draft with my true feelings of not belonging that still discuss what I’m grateful for about this school, but I feel like it’s way too personal and whiny.

Can I justify transferring from a good school if my biggest problem is campus culture, and it is a campus I will be leaving in two years anyway?

It sounds as though you’re not happy.

I think that’s probably a very good reason to transfer.

Yes, but will competitive colleges accept me if that’s what I write an essay about? It’s the truth though…

Well, don’t whine about it. That would be a turn off. Instead of saying: I hate the culture of Oxford campus. It stinks. No one asks me about my major blah blah blah.

Try instead:

  • After a wonderful year at Oxford, I’ve discovered that what I truly value in college is an intellectual environment where I can discuss the great philosphers/ ideas/ great books/ international relations and political strategy / cultural and gender issues (whatever your hope is) etc. I think I’m more likely to find that environment at X Target College.

Or: While Oxford has given me great gifts (enumerate) I feel that I’m still yearning for what X college can give me in terms of XYZ. Specifically at X Target College – and then talk only about X Target College.

“Can I justify transferring from a good school if my biggest problem is campus culture,…”

I think this is the wrong way to think about it. Don’t think about where you are leaving from. Think about where you are going to.

If you think “why I want to leave my currently school” you might end up with an unconvincing essay. If you think "why I would prefer to attend ", then you should be able to come up with compelling essays specific to any one school that actually makes sense for you. This might mean finding out a bit regarding every school that you are applying to, which would be a good thing.

I would concentrate on what the new school does offer, as opposed Tom what the old one doesn’t.