I am in quite a pickle and I’d like to get some second opinions on my situation.
I’m currently a freshman at Oberlin. I ended my senior year of high school in a pretty bad place (family problems, mental health issues, and a downward trajectory in terms of grades/academic performance) and somehow ended up at Oberlin after a very chaotic college application season. On paper, Oberlin seemed like a decent fit - it was intellectual, liberal, laid-back, a bit off-kilter, had a lot of music and art events going on. It seemed like the polar opposite of my uber-competitive NYC magnet high school, which was what I thought I wanted in a college education.
Turns out I was wrong. The student body is way too homogenous, the idealistic politics are grating, and the rural setting does nothing but amplify everything else I dislike about this place - it feels like I’m suffocating and I can’t escape. The students here are comparatively much less intelligent than my peers were in high school, which is a bit demoralizing… I miss being in an environment where I felt constantly challenged and inspired by the people around me. More than that, I miss the diversity of the city - I’m Asian, and people here tend to be sheltered privileged white kids with ridiculously impractical worldviews. The POC circles are no better; everyone is just so completely whitewashed compared to what I was used to - hell, I was probably the most whitewashed out of my Asian friends back home. An academic dean even recently told me that I was “rare” on campus because most Asian students here are international, and most Asian-American students have white parents (meaning they’re adopted). What the hell.
I had a pretty shoddy first semester (depression/anxiety came back, tricky dorm situation, got involved in an unhealthy codependent relationship) and I took most of my classes Pass/No Pass and ended up with a single B on my transcript. Since then I’ve taken strides to improve my personal situation and I’m now on antidepressants and regularly seeing a therapist, and somewhat adequately keeping up with assignments. I’m confident that I can bring my GPA up to a respectable level by the middle of my sophomore year, which is when I intend to send transfer applications out to Barnard and NYU, and possibly some other colleges - I want to go somewhere that’s less of a bubble, where people are better acquainted with the “real world.” I want more options for courses, majors, and minors; diverse people and diverse opinions; a bottomless vat of resume-building opportunities at the tips of my fingers… I miss ratty subways and dinky bodegas and hot people (honestly) and the convenience, the energy, the variety, the feeling of boundless opportunity and complete insignificance that comes with living in a big city.
I’m not sure if I’m completely delusional to try transferring when my academic record is so poor (I got a not-insignificant amount of B’s and C’s in my later years of high school). I’m also not sure if I’m being overly pessimistic and refusing to embrace the positives of being at Oberlin. But from my conversations with older students - especially POC students from big cities - I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way, and I know of at least two Asian-American students in the grade above me who transferred out of Oberlin by their sophomore year. Another concern is financials. For some reason Oberlin decided to give me merit aid, and while it’s not a huge sum, it’s more than I think I’d get as a transfer student. I don’t think I’d get any financial aid either, and I don’t know if it’s worth the money to transfer when I’m already at a pretty decent school.
Very Conflicted Please Help