To stay or to leave?

<p>I currently go to a small liberal arts college in Indiana, and I love it here. It's nice to recognize people around campus, and to not have to walk too far to get where you're going. The people are awesome, and I've made friends. However, I'm thinking of transferring. It's not the cost, not the environment, not the people. I'm not even entirely sure why I'm considering this.</p>

<p>It all started at the beginning of last week, when a friend of mine here told me he was transferring to a college; his reason for leaving is that our college doesn't have a strong program in what he wants to major in. His decision got me thinking, and the more I think about it, the more reasons I find for transfer:</p>

<p>1) There is no creative writing major here. There is, however, a minor.</p>

<p>2) Part of the reason I came here was for Japanese, which is no longer going to be part of my major or minor at all; I'm only in the language classes for fun.</p>

<p>3) So far, I've been able to pass writing-intensive classes here fairly easily; although the books we read and the discussions following them were interesting, the homework wasn't very challenging, more like busywork. I stayed up until all hours of the night procrastinating and still got good grades on all of my papers. The only challenging class was creative writing. (However, I'm just a Freshman...I don't know what many upper-level classes are like, although I've just started taking one this semester)</p>

<p>4) Although most of the time I'm fine, sometimes I just get a feeling like my college search isn't I'm missing something. I've chalked it up to being a Freshman, but what if the feeling never goes away?</p>

<p>When I think about transferring, my mind becomes muddy. Being here almost feels like being back at my high school, but without much of the drama. I feel neutral about leaving this school for another one - here feels more like extended summer camp, as I haven't really put down too many roots. And part of me is excited at the prospect of maybe making new friends who are less into Japanese and more into writing/reading. My friends here are mostly Japanese majors. I love them and they're definitely into a lot of the same things I am - a couple even creative writing - but sometimes I feel a little left out because I'm not quite as into Japanese as they are. There are only about twenty-odd English majors on campus, including those who haven't officially declared their major. Oddly enough, what I'd miss most about here are the opportunities I have with the music department; I currently play piano for voice lessons, and am in two of the main choirs.</p>

<p>I've looked into schools with good creative writing programs, and have found some I like: Hamilton, Oberlin, Beloit, Kenyon, Bates. Kenyon was actually tied with the school I'm currently at for my top choice, but I got waitlisted. Although part of me really wants to apply somewhere else and see what happens, it's not something that absolutely needs to be done. I keep thinking, what if I go through all of the stress of applying and aren't accepted anywhere? What if I get in but can't go because of financial reasons? What if I get there and it's actually worse than where I am now? If I transfer, how will I maintain friends when I'll be studying abroad Junior year? Everyone I've talked to so far has simply told me to do what I feel I should do. But that's just it; I have no idea. I can't tell if I'm psyching myself out because it's just the first few weeks back, or if I'm hopping on the bandwagon of students considering transfer for some other reason. I can't imagine what it would be like to go somewhere else, but then I also can't imagine what it'll be like coming back next year. I remember how at this time last year I was also telling people I hoped to go to Kenyon because all the other colleges I applied to were just alright.</p>

<p>This isn't a horrible school; it's actually pretty nice. My classes are at least interesting, I can do music stuff and take Japanese in addition to my other classes, and I'm taking a May term to study art. I'm content and comfortable. So why am I even considering transferring? Help. Please. I'd like to be able to fall asleep without a thousand more what-ifs running through my head.</p>

<p>egailh, my S is a F at a small LAC and is taking this term off to travel for a month and clear his head for similar reasons as you:</p>

<p>1) sounds like you’re over-thinking it and that is causing an added layer of stress you don’t need–I can relate, as this trait seriously runs in our fam, lol.
2) nothing ventured, nothing gained: go ahead and apply and I can promise you, the truth of your academic heart will out! Once you start receiving your acceptances, etc, you will know if it is the right move for you to actually transfer. You can always decline or defer.
3) I get that you feel wishy-washy…but perhaps this is guilt for “not sticking with things”? Either way, the reason you have stated last seems, by itself, a very valid one: your interests (thus, major) have changed and your new-found interests (major/minor) are not a strength at your current school. College is so $$ you should get out of it the academic program you wish to pursue. That’s a very legit and compelling reason to any transfer committee, btw.
4) Some schools prefer earlier (rising Soph) transfers; some (like the UC’s) won’t even consider your app if you won’t have completed junior level status. So carefully ck online at your school(s) of choice. There’s always the idea of an in-person visit to cement your impressions, as well.
Hang in there…ommmm;)</p>