Should I transfer? Advice?

<p>Currently, I am a freshman at Elon University, a relatively well-known school "on the rise." When applying and making the decision to come to Elon, I never was sure in my decision to enroll and was heavily swayed by my parents, who basically think Elon is the best school in the world. However, now that I am here, I feel like I have made a poor life decision. I can't even begin to tell you how out of place and unhappy I feel here. The student body lacks any sort of diversity, including in its ideals, and I find myself feeling I need to change who I am to fit into Elon's culture. Simply put, I stick out like a sore thumb just because I am not wealthy, preppy, or overtly liberal, which makes me feel terrible about myself.</p>

<p>Reading what I posted above, you probably have found yourself thinking, "Oh, she is a freshman. She is adjusting." To be honest with you, though, I also thought I felt this way because I was a freshman, regardless to how involved and adjusted I felt. However, I found my upperclassmen friends also remarking that they still feel the same way I currently do about Elon and that they decided to get used such a feeling so they wouldn't have to put the effort into transferring. I also have spoken with a professor on the matter and he said, I quote, "Elon has a distinct culture, and honestly, I would never have gone to undergraduate school here. You either fit in here or you don't, and if you don't, you need to find somewhere you can be happy."</p>

<p>Ultimately, I am unsure about transferring. I am doing very well academically at Elon and Elon has so many amazing opportunities, yet, at the same time, I am so unhappy that I feel like staying here isn't worth being miserable. Any advice?</p>

<p>I graduated from a small, private liberal arts school and most of the kids there were from wealthy backgrounds. Very wide-spread frat and sorority mentality, very arrogant. I commuted however, so I only had to put up with a fraction of it in the classroom and did not really socialize outside of the classroom after my first semester or two there. I tried joining a lot of clubs in the beginning since it is much harder for commuters to make friends, but I just did not fit in anywhere. I stuck it out because I loved the professors and the courses, it was a great school - just didn't care for the student body. I realize it is much harder for you to deal with if you actually live on campus, immersed in it. </p>

<p>A lot of smaller schools, and especially more expensive private schools have these problems. Larger public universities will offer you more diversity of perspectives, political stands, religion, race, etc. These larger universities may also offer many of the same opportunities Elon has (I've never actually heard of your school to make specific comparisons, but it'll be easy enough for you to research). </p>

<p>Transferring isn't that bad, I did it twice from CC to a cheesy 4-year to a better 4-year (where I graduated from). You just have to make sure the admissions office has all of your materials if they are being sent separate - especially letters of recommendation. Keep organized and it will be a painless transition.</p>

<p>And since you already know what you don't like in a school, it will be much easier to find what you do like in a school. So consider yourself experienced in that manner.</p>

<p>Hang in there and try to make it work at least another month, until the break. If you're still unhappy, submit some transfer applications after the New Year. Then, if admitted to some, you still have until late spring to figure out if Elon is going to work for you or if you want to transfer.</p>

<p>A lot of private schools are similar in that respect. Each school has it's own personality, so try to find a school (if private) that has the student body you want. Elon is like Wake, W&L, and Vandy culturally. If I were you, I would look up north, or out west to get a different feel. Or go to a large school, probably public, that has a wider range of students.</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone. :) I definitely think I am going to apply to transfer, and maybe to a state school (most likely UMD) to save some money.</p>

<p>If you're looking at UMD, you should take a look at Pitt and (well, maybe not) Penn State.</p>