Transferring Back to Old College

I started my freshman year this year at School A. It is a very prestigious school and has one of the top programs for what I want to do and would look amazing on grad school applications. I did great academically, had some good friends, joined a club, and played a club sport. Even though I had a lot of fun at School A, I felt incredibly homesick since 4 of my best friends went to the state school 20 minutes from my hometown (School B ) and loved it. School A was about 4 hours from home, so I ended up going home three weekends in the fall of my freshman year and visited my friends at School B. Every time the weekend was over, and I had to leave my friends at School B to go back to my school, School A, I would get so sad and cry a lot of the drive back. However, once I was back in my dorm, and with my friends, I would feel happy again.
Over winter break, I toured School B just to keep my options open and since I really didn’t like the campus, I decided to give School A the rest of the year to see how I felt. However, then the week before I was supposed to go back to School A, I became so sad again and spontaneously decided to transfer to School B for the spring semester. I wasn’t super confident with my decision since the academics weren’t as well-known, but my friends were very helpful throughout all of it. I integrated into their friend group and was, for the most part, happy, but in the back of my mind, I was always thinking about how much I missed the experience of being in a new city with new people. Additionally, School A has top-tier athletics that I missed tailgating and watching while School B does not.
Now the coronavirus hit, and both schools went to online learning. This has given me a lot more time to think, and I have been considering transferring back to School A for the fall of my sophomore year. I kept in touch with all my friends there and actually planned a trip to visit my best friend from School A over the summer. When I told them I was considering coming back, they were all so happy and encouraged me to.
I know I would be happy and excel at either school. If I were to go back to School A, I would appreciate being away from home and in a new city now that I have experienced what it was like being home. I would rejoin the club I participated in, play the same club sport, and was thinking of joining an academic sorority. I know I would get back in easily since I had a 4.0 my one semester there and am expecting to get a 4.0 this semester as well. If I stay at School B, I would join a club sport and try to find other clubs to join. Since they don’t have the club I was involved in at School A, I was considering starting a chapter at School B which would look great on my grad school applications. However, I’m scared I will feel like I’m missing out staying home.
I won a substantial Memorial Scholarship through my High School, so price is not a big factor. However School B is about $6,000/year less than School A. I put down a deposit to live in an on-campus apartment at School B with my friends from next fall but I am sure they would understand me going back, and I believe that me leaving would just mean one less person living in the apartment. All my guy friends at School A got a house together, but all my female friends put deposits down for singles in one of the upperclassmen dorms that I’m sure I’d be able to get into. My biggest concerns for transferring again are what graduate schools will think of me not being able to make a commitment. I’m just looking for what other people think. My parents loved School A and want me to go back. I’m just not sure if I have enough of a reason to transfer again if I know at either school I have the potential to be happy. I guess with all this time alone to think, I feel that I would be happier at School A.

@user8021 After reading this to the end, if I were you I would go back to School A. It’s understandable that as a freshman you felt homesick and made that decision and you can explain that to the graduate school in the future. Lots of freshmen get homesick and head back home. That happens. I do believe in growth though and in order to grow you will feel growing pains and School A will allow that. School B is your comfort zone. Step out of your comfort zone.

My S transferred out of his School A at the end of freshman year, regretted it during his first semester at School B, then returned to School A for second semester sophomore year (from which he graduated on time last spring).

It’s hard to imagine any grad school would hold it against you if you returned to your School A. Make the choice that feels right to you.

One thing to check with School A - you may be considered a re-admit, not a transfer. Those are two different processes at most schools.

Thanks! One thing my brother is concerned about is that now that I am not at School A, I am putting it up on a pedestal and that if I am happy at School B I should just stay there and save some money. Did you ever question this for your S?

@user8021, yes I was concerned that perhaps my S was idealizing School A. But unlike in your situation, he really hated School B so staying there was not a consideration.

how long did it take for him to realize that he hated school B and wanted to go back to school A?

what did you end up doing? did you end up transferring back?

He was pretty sure after one month that he wanted to transfer back to school A.