Is transferring for me?

I’m not happy where I am. I mostly went to this college because it was the “best” college I got into (the other were lower-tier state schools while my college is a pretty decent private school). Even though it’s only been one semester, I haven’t had that many good moments. I haven’t made any real friends that I consider myself close to. Right before I left for Winter Break, I called the suicide hotline and cried to them that I didn’t connect with anyone at my school despite trying. I also go to therapy regularly at my school and towards the end of the semester, I went a LOT more. I’ve cried more times than I can count within the last couple of months. I also had a really terrible roommate that destroyed a lot of my happiness, so that definitely made things worse.

I don’t really enjoy my classes despite taking classes that I’m interested in. In September I thought I wanted to transfer and talked to my counselor about it. In November I talked to her again and told her I didn’t want to transfer anymore but now it’s January and I want out. I earned a 3.4 GPA (one A-, three B+) which is much better than my 2.9 in high school. If it matters, I had two significant losses in my family as well as severe mental health problems. I’m the Vice President of the freshman class and I’m involved in blog writing as well as an acapella group, so I definitely tried to get involved in my school.

I do find myself desiring a different type of college life. I’m jealous of my high school peers when I think about what they might be doing. I’ve though about applying to transfer as a rising junior but I don’t know how long I can attend my current institution.

If it matters, I’m from California and moved to Georgia for college and have never previously been on the East Coast. I think I’ve adapted well though I don’t know if I’m just depressed or if I’d really be better off somewhere else. I’ve heard of a lot of people being depressed or unfulfilled their freshman year but then having things get a lot better the next year. Since it’s only been one semester, should I give it another one or apply to transfer next year. I’m at a loss for what I should do?

I think that it is hard to give good advice without more information. What state schools did you get into? Are these in California? What university are you attending? What is your budget and are you taking on debt? What is your major or likely majors? Do your parents know what is going on?

Going off to university is a big transition. This is tough for quite a few students.

The ranking of a university in general does not matter much. Finding a school that is a good fit for you is more important.

I go to Agnes Scott. I got into three California state schools (San Francisco State, Fresno State, and CSU Monterey Bay). I’m not taking on debt and don’t want to. My likey majors are Public Health and/or Music. I might minor in theatre. My parents know.

It is true many struggle early - both my kids did - and it can get better.

You are at an all female school and away from home and that could be hard.

On the flipside, when one struggles with mental health issues, it may be a larger issue - and making a change to think it’s a cure may not do anything to help the situation as there could be deeper issues.

I would continue to seek counseling - and discuss with them. Perhaps college isn’t right for you or you need a break. Or perhaps a transfer is in order.

btw - the jealousy of what your friends are doing - friends always embellish - always - so the true picture may not be as great as you think.

Certainly work with your family and mental health professionals to find the right future path for you.

Good luck.


There are deeper issues than just those with your first semester at college, but a change may be wise in order to get into a new environment &, hopefully, leave behind some negative baggage while continuing to get psychological help.

If I were you, I would talk talk to your doctor/therapist about it. Transferring is a big deal, and it seems this would be a good reason. Depression is no joke. You need to take it very seriously, especially if you’ve had suicidal tendencies. With what you went through, you have a good GPA.

My advice(talk to your parents) would be to transfer back home. You’re early in the spring semester, so you still might be able to drop your classes without it affecting your transcripts. Private liberal arts schools have a reputation for being cliquish, and that might be helped significantly by going to a bigger more diverse school. Yes, they tend to be more impersonal, but bigger schools don’t have the same cultural pressure to “make friends” to fit in. People are just adults. Most importantly, take care of your health first.