Should I stay or should I go?

Hello!

I recently got my two transfer decisions back and I am torn on what to do. Before this semester started, I thought that it would be an easy decision to transfer if I got accepted to one of these schools. But now as I am nearly through with my first semester on campus, I have grown a bit fond of my current school and the friends I have made. Hence why I am having more of a dilemma between choosing to stay at my current school (UConn) or transferring to either the University of Michigan or Georgia Tech. Below I’m going to list the pros and cons I can think of for attending each school next semester.

(FYI I am a second year student and major in Computer Science in all of these schools)

UConn:

Pros:

Made a lot of friends and am socially doing pretty well in most aspects

Close to Home (Convenient and Cheap Transportation)

Cheapest

Already accustomed to campus and how things operate

Cons:

Least Prestigious Academically

Pales in contrast to the other two universities in terms of resources and class breadth

Middle of nowhere (mabye also could be a pro for less distractions?)

I’m constantly going to think what if?

University of Michigan:

Pros:

Dream School

Supposedly the holy grail for a mix of student life and academics

Ann Arbor is great and more similar weather to where I am from

Strong in my major

Summer Break starts earlier than most schools (advantage for internships)

Cons:

Have to start from scratch socially and academically (GPA reset)

Transportation is not as convenient or cheap

Most expensive out of the three (I wouldn’t have to take out loans still)

I may be 1-2 classes behind due to not all credits transferring

Slightly bigger student body and possible over enrollment issues for the CS major?

Many CS/Engineering classes are located away from central campus

Almost 50K students (not sure if this will be a shock from 30k ish students)

Georgia Tech:

Pros:

Strongest for my major?

Threads would allow me to gain unique experience in certain areas of computing

Tons of opportunities/things to do in Atlanta

I think all main classes will transfer

Cons:

Super Stressful Environment

Have to start from scratch socially and academically (GPA reset)

Transportation is not as convenient or cheap

Second most expensive out of the three (similarly wouldn’t have to take loans)

Don’t know if the student body suits me well since it is a very academically focused school

Don’t know if I would like the environment since i’ve lived in the northeast my whole life

Really, I am concerned that if I transfer, 1. Can I make friends and fit in? (Which I am somewhat confident I can by joining clubs and putting myself out there as I did this semester) and 2. How much more difficult will the academics be at these higher ranked schools? Is the difference in quality between my current school and these two substantial? Also does transferring in the winter/spring semester make it harder to integrate versus in the fall?

If any more information is needed please let me know, I’d love to hear all of your opinions!

Atlanta has a lot of cheap, direct flights. Lots to do.

GT has been pretty generous with AP/transfer credits for S20. He will most likely graduate in 3 years for IE.

His 3 suite mates are CS. Not overly social. Seems to be a common theme with CS.

His HS friend had the choice between Michigan and GT for CS. He chose GT by a nose.

You don’t go to GT for the accommodations. It can be stressful.

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Does your current school (UConn) offer all of the courses that you want & need ?

Are you challenged academically at your current school ?

Georgia Tech CS will be at a different level than that at your current school. Same for Michigan.

Even though I am biased for Michigan you don’t give a good enough argument to transfer. But before you consider anything look to make sure your classes actually transfer. Michigan is tough in math /science transfers https://transfercredit.ugadmiss.umich.edu/

Do the same with GT. This alone might make your decision. Most kids that are in your position always wonder what if?? You will graduate from all 3 and get a job. Separating yourself and making yourself stand out by being active on campus and being part of your college community will help with that. Name of school alone helps but only you can get the job.

As far as fitting in and making friends the question is… What can’t you? People join clubs, activities, etc all year long. People meet new people daily… That’s all on you and your willingness to do so…

Look at what each school offers you(do a deep dive) and see what fit makes sense if your going to transfer.

BTW - congrats, getting into both of those schools as a transfer is a feat in itself.

I’m confused - why did you apply to transfer? You said you got your two decisions back - so they’ve both accepted you for next year?

Reading about your experience at UCONN, I haven’t the foggiest idea why you would have applied to these other schools.

You seem to enjoy it. That it pales reputationally is you falling issue to the marketing trap that many falls victim too - you can get a great education and job out of UCONN. As for thinking what if, you chose UCONN up front - why? My son majors in ME at Alabama. His two roommates this summer at his internship were Ga Tech. One of the three were invited back for next summer. It wasn’t the two Ga Tech guys. The “top” pedigree schools are not a guarantee to better outcomes.

You need to maximize your opportunity where you are. Sure, you can transfer - but you are in a good situation. Starting fresh at another school where others have established bonds is not easy. And as you said, you’ve established yourself socially.

Frankly, it makes me worry that you’ll be a job hopper, etc…because you work at company A, but what if you could work at Apple, etc.

Transfer if you want - but I see no reason that you should since you seem to be doing well at UCONN - a find school, btw.

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While staying at UConn would allow me to gain a solid technical/computing background, I find that it lacks many upper level electives in software development and AI among other areas that draw my interest. Some even compare the CS degree here to a applied math degree. In addition, I feel that these two schools would provide a lot more opportunities outside of the classroom. Whether it be clubs, workshops, company talks, more career fairs, etc.

To add on, it’s not like I’m not challenged at all, it’s just that what I feel like there are better/more interesting ways to learn in and out of the classroom.

Thanks! For Michigan it’s really just one cs course that I am taking in my current university that I’m unsure of since it’s not on the transfer credit page. Essentially EECS 280 and EECS 281 would be the two that would put me behind if it doesn’t transfer. However it heard it may be possible to test out of 280 and straight into 281 (if that is possible and advisable).

Thanks for the response, Yes. I was accepted into both of these schools. As for why I bothered applying in the first place, it was before this semester started. Last year I was at home the whole year so I didn’t get much social interaction. I also listed some reasons in a previous post above, but essentially both academically and professionally I thought that these two schools would provide me with much more resources and opportunity that would give me the tools to better myself.

I originally picked uconn for mainly two things. The price and its proximity to home. While the other two schools will be more expensive, they are still well within my budget after financial aid. As for the proximity, this was mainly due to COVID and my parents wanting me to stay closer to home. I myself wanted to experience something new which the location of both of these colleges would provide.

But again, I see your point by staying where I am already comfortable I can still get to where I want to be with hard work. There is just a part of me that is afraid of passing up this great opportunity and the experiences I may miss out on.

There is a department just for transfers. Don’t wonder just make an appointment and send in your transcript then you will know.

But if your doing well and happy where you are at then stay.

FYI - it’s not like you will show up at Michigan or GT and all these great things will happen to you. Again, it’s you making it happen. I would not go into great debt.

Both schools are academically hard. How much harder? Don’t know.

If you got into them then you might be working more for the same grades your getting now but maybe not. So to me it’s more about fit. Like Big Ten sports? Both schools are highly ranked and opportunities will be the same. At Michigsn you will go to North Campos for classes. Many, many students still live on Central campus. Thousands do this yearly and still get good/great jobs… Some like my son actually like North Campus… Like seeing deer on your way to class? Not on central campus.

But if your going to get an apartment people choose their people now. But at Michigan look into Co-ops housing. It includes internet, utilities, and on North Campus at Esher it comes with a chef on site. It’s more community dorm like but you will meet people. It even has outdoor firepit, grill, hammock. Surrounded by trees. With bikes to use whenever. Game room etc etc. Mostly engineering, grad, and professional students there.

There are also 15 coop housing with lots on central campus as well. Each with own theme and culture some are into having parties etc.

Reason whey I mention it they start and end with the school year. Not subletting your place in the summer. Most leases in AnnArbor are year leases. Have to deal with it while away to your internship etc.
There is a off site housing department through Michigsn to check out and students list for roommates etc.

https://offcampus.umich.edu/

https://campusinfo.umich.edu/article/cooperative-housing-inside-scoop

I vote UMich b/c

  1. sounds as if you are ready to spread your wings in a way that you weren’t 2 years ago- yeah for growth!

  2. you are getting far enough into your field that you are seeing specific areas of interest that your current program doesn’t cover

  3. I am a huge GaTech fan but imo UMi is the easier place to find a new home- it seems to really suit a very broad range of people.

  4. $ aren’t an issue

Bonus: there is no “wrong” answer to this question :grin:

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Oh, sorry. These are usually cheaper then finding an apartment in Ann Arbor.

So you’re in your first semester on campus and you already think you know what’s lacking and what others have that you don’t ? I think you can’t yet know UCONN and you are falling victim to a lot of hype.

I think you have a fantastic situation and you are being blinded by ‘marketing’ and not by reality. Many schools offer the same clubs etc and most have job fairs. Btw. My son found both his internships via the internet. Set up an indeed search and apply. Yes there are job fairs but it doesn’t mean jobs of interest will be there. You’ll have plenty of UCONN kids finding jobs. And you’ll see plenty of Michigan kids struggle.

Seems to me you should be giving UCONN a chance. Other than perceived pedigree you’ve offered not a single legitimate reason to leave.

It sounds like you’re happy at UConn. There’s a lot to be said for that. You have family support nearby. That’s a good thing too.

Can you take some higher level or graduate classes at UConn? Maybe next year?

Stay at UConn, do well, work for a couple of years. Figure out what CS discipline you like most. Apply to Michigan or GT for grad school with the money you saved.

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Thank you everyone for all the responses everyone! Another thing I was wondering is if staying at UConn will hinder my chances of getting a job outside of new england/the northeast. I am aware that job wise, hiring managers care more about experience then school name for CS. However, looking at the outcomes for CS majors out of UConn, an overwhelming majority of them end up working in CT after graduation. After talking to many people here, I can’t imagine many of them choosing to take work in CT by choice.

Jobs hire from anywhere. My son is at Bama and just got offered an internship in upstate NY.

And no one stays anywhere today - I was moved from CA to TN - and had the chance to go to SC and Atlanta. I also had a chance to move from TN to WA.

It’s a global world. You’re looking for reasons to leave because you want to but you know on paper it doesn’t make sense.

That’s not the reason to leave…put it that way.

Can only speak for the company I work for, but we don’t care at all where a person went to school. It’s all about what they know! All our programmers go through a very in-depth programming interview so where you learned it doesn’t mean a thing.

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Hey! I’m actually dealing with a really similar thing. I am a sophomore at UC Davis. I absolutely hated my time there during my freshman year. And now that I’m back as a sophomore, I don’t love it, but I also don’t hate it liked I used to. I applied to a lot of colleges for spring transfer and am getting the decisions back now. A few months ago I knew for certain I wanted to transfer but now as I’m getting the decisions back I don’t feel as sure anymore. I could stay at UC Davis where I kind of know what’s going to happen or I could transfer. And if I transfer it could either be the best decision and I could have a way way better experience or it could be the same/worse than UC Davis. Just wanted to share my experience bc it sounds like we’re dealing with the same thing. We’ll figure it out! Lmk what you end up deciding to do. Best of luck!!!

I think many kids struggle at college…both mine did. But over time it gets better.

Much of it is kid specific…for example, if one isn’t outgoing, willing to reach out to others or to professors, etc. they might struggle anywhere.

Having most schools locked up last year certainly didn’t help - many suffered.

Good luck either way - but at a large school, one can always find their place - you just have to work at it.

The OP was a bit different…he likes his situation…he’s just letting the “pedigree” thing create confusion…anyway, good luck to you no matter what you do.