My mom wants me to transfer colleges, but I don't want to

Hi everyone, I am having a major problem right now.
I grew up in a household with siblings in their 30s and a single mother. As pretty much the baby, baby of the family I am pretty much an only child. With that in mind, you could understand the connection me and my mother have, just the two of us.
The problem right now though, revolves around college.
In June of 2021, I graduated high school, so naturally, in September of 2021, I started college. When I was touring colleges, my mom had my back 100%, but it feels like that has changed. All the colleges I looked at were out of state, and the college I chose is 7 hours away from my home. Not only did I chose this college for the education program, but also because it was far away. Living in a small town during COVID was awful. Like living in a small town, in general, isn’t the best, but during a pandemic its pretty much death.
I was so excited to go to college in August. But, when it came to move-in day my nerves kicked in and I started looking at colleges to transfer to. But now I don’t want to transfer, but my mom wants me to.
In the beginning, after my mom left, I was dead set on leaving. I had not the best roommate. she wasn’t mean or anything, she was actually wicked sweet but exactly like me. But, she is gone now. she couldn’t handle being away so she went to a school closer to home.
Everything has started looking up here. I have a great small friend group. my closest friend here is my new roommate since she was having roommate troubles as well. I changed my major to secondary education with a concentration in English and I couldn’t be more excited. I am getting back into my paintings and back into playing tennis. I am actually enjoying myself.
But the problem is, my mom is dead set on me transferring for the spring semester. She wants me closer to home and at a smaller school. I don’t want to leave, but my opinion doesn’t matter… because if I try to cross my mother she cuts me off with the snap of a finger. she stops talking to me and threatens to leave me on my own with no help.
I am debating whether or not to involve one of my older siblings to help me convince her to let me stay for at least the year. the sibling that I would get involved is her favorite child, and she always listens to him. but would that get me in trouble?
I am thinking about giving up and just letting her drag me along like a puppet. I don’t want to lose her and if something like college is going to do that then I feel like maybe I should just follow and let her make the decisions for me. no?
I’m confused. I’m lost and I need help.

I am really sorry that you are going through this - family can be messy.

I do think that, if you can no longer seem to communicate your need to your mother, that involving your siblings is likely a good idea.

It also depends - who is paying for your college?

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Use the sibling to support you.

Are you talking to your mom? Telling her the good things you love about the college? How often are you in contact with her?

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Happy for you that you’ve made a good adjustment to school. This has all happened only over the past three weeks or so! This sounds like the kid who goes to summer camp, cries for the first week, parents freak out, kid adjusts, loves it, stays entire summer.

You need to decrease the amount of communication with your mother. Text her daily, one time, telling her that everything is wonderful. Keep phone conversations short, and less frequent. Only speak glowingly of how much you love your classes, your new friends, how happy you are. Then get off the phone! “Mom, gotta go, I’ve got a study group starting in 5 minutes.” Or my friends and I are going to lunch now together at the dining hall.

I suspect that your mother wants you to transfer closer to home because she heard from you, over and over, about how miserable you were. Keep communication brief and only upbeat about how wonderful everything is, and she’ll come around.


As a mom myself I want what is best for my child, particularly if I am paying for her college education. However, I also understand that at some point she will need to stand on her own. If you are sure that this college is meeting your needs now and you are feeling more at home you need to have more positive interactions with your mother about your experience.

Share with her what you may have learned in a recent class that has inspired you or what you and your new friend group is doing. Get a job and build the amount of responsibility you have. Consider joining a church or get active in the community. Once she sees that you are connected with a support network she will be more on board with you being so far away.


One issue to consider is the cost of the university. Are you fine with the cost of your current university and are you taking on debt? I did not see any discussion of this in your post.

Another issue is the quality of your university in your likely major(s). Is there any meaningful academic difference between any universities that you are considering? In most cases for most majors there are a lot of very good universities, and people get far too excited about a relatively modest difference in ranking. Once you graduate employers usually care more about your major and graduate schools care more about your references, statement of purpose (do you know what you want to do) and undergraduate grades. From your post it sounds like the school where you are is a good one for you.

Another issue is whether you are comfortable on campus. It sounds like you are. If this is right you should make this clear to your mom. She will want to know that you are happy, and that you are keeping ahead in your school work.

In most cases I think that it is a bad idea for a student to be going home frequently. If you are a 30 minute drive from home, or if you are a 6 hour plane ride from home, either way your life is on campus. Either way a phone call to home works just fine. We deal with 1 or 2 or 3 hour time zone differences all the time and it is typically no problem at all.

If this is a financial “out of state” problem then I sympathize with your mom. If this is a “I miss you” problem then a few phone calls should be all that is needed.

I might add that transferring involves a disruption in your education. There is a very real cost to this.


Anna, you are a grown woman. Just tell your mother “Hey mom, I’m not transferring to another school and if you don’t like it, oh well”. She can’t control you anymore if you are 18 or older.

She can if she’s paying for college.


well damn :joy: i dont know what to say

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I am sorry you have to go through this, too. Like others, I suggest enlisting the help of siblings who will be supportive of your position. As a parent, and as a poster here, I understand the difficulties of settling in at college, making friends, and finding yourself as a person. Kudos to you, because you seem to have figured it out pretty quickly! That accomplishment should be celebrated by anyone who cares about you because change is so hard and the alternative is being unhappy.

Perhaps your mom is having a hard time coming to grips with having an empty nest and facing her own aging process. Deep down, though, I believe she wants you to be happy. Focus on how you feel like you are settling in, making friends, and are truly happy. She will eventually come around.


It’s at least worth talking to siblings to see if they would have your back.

I’m guessing mom is lonely. Does she have support back home? Friends? Job? Hobbies? Something to help her keep her new life going? Siblings might be able to help address that too.


It sounds like there may be a lot more going on in the background than what we’re hearing. Even so, the best thing to do is have an open conversation with your mom. I’m thinking it may be financial, because that’s why most people transfer. You mentioned that you chose a college out of state. Well…she probably realized she can’t afford out of state tuition. I wouldn’t try to drag a sibling to convince your mom. Just have an honest conversation with her. But ultimately, she’s paying for your college and gets the final say.

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We as moms will worry. Nothing you can do will ever change that. If I hear one of my kids struggle, I want to rush in and fix it for them is my gut response. But I know that isnt healthy. Be very aware of what you tell your mom because if you are using her to vent the negative and not saying anything positive, shes probably stressing and wants you home to “keep you safe.”

You are an adult now and I think its okay for you to talk with her about why does she want you to transfer and be home. Is it financials? I think its okay for you to ask is her request for you to move home for your best interest or for hers?

You say she will snap on you and cut you off. This seems like maybe there has been somewhat of an unhealthy relationship and dynamic between you and your mom. If she cuts you off financially, can you pay for your own college?

Another outside of the box idea would be to ask her to join you in an online game. Theres quite a few apps and such where you could play against her every day. Finding a little “thing” that connects you and her without having to communicate with her directly may help.

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First I would encourage you if you have not already done so is to seek counseling at your college. It is normal to feel waves of emotion when you leave home to go to college. You can also really benefit from meeting with someone regularly to untangle this close relationship and all that it brings. This can also help as you try to make these big life decisions, like transferring and give you the confidence and skills necessary to have the discussion with your mom. I wish you the very best. Sometimes we moms mom a little too hard :neutral_face:


My mom is paying for college. Because I only work during the summer, I don’t make enough money and I don’t want to be up to my head in loans after college. I want her support. She is a great person to have in my back pocket.


We talk everyday. I call her everyday and inform her of everything that is going on. and everything that I tell her is good and fun. I inform her of the drama that is going on in the dorm and things I plan to do during the week/weekend.
But she is still dead set on me moving closer to home… even though things are going amazing here

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Honestly the only reason I would consider transferring is cost…for a Secondary Education/English major it may not be a major to pay a premium for. If you want to teach in your homestate it may be more cost effective to go to a public school. But if it is affordable, stick with what you have.

You will not lose your mother, I assure you. If she is trying to manipulate you into transferring, then she is not the type to give up.

You are an adult…make your own decisions on what YOU want. You are not here to keep your mother happy. Her goal to a parent should be to prepare you for independence.

Honestly I would advise you to not talk to her everyday…start spreading it out more. Or tell her to stop talking to you about transferring…if she does, say "Mom, I don’t want to talk about transferring anymore. I have found friends and am feeling great about things. " And then if she does it the next time you say “mom, I am going to go now.”

She may not be satisfied when you transfer…what is next? She wants you to live at home? Move home after you graduate?