Transferring out of USC to a less prestigious school

Does anyone have experience with transferring out of a high ranked school into a less prestigious one? I’m in my freshman year here at USC and I don’t feel happy. There’s a few different reasons I’m considering transferring and would like to organize my thoughts and hopefully get some input.

When I first was accepted, I was ecstatic. I came in a trumpet performance major and I switched to undecided second semester, which meant that I lost a fair amount of scholarship money that I had received from the music school. USC is too expensive for me now; my parents aren’t too worried but considering I feel no direction with what I want to do I worry that we’re spending upwards of $60,000/yr for me to just take Gen Eds that I could be taking at a cheaper university.

I don’t really feel like I fit in here, it feels like a big party school and I’m really an introvert. There’s a ton of pressure to look good all the time and have a ton of friends. A year ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d feel this way but a lot has changed in my life since then. Since being with my boyfriend (he’s in a different state, so we’re long distance) I feel like I’ve really found myself and I no longer feel a desire to get a ‘college experience’, I just want to get started on my career and be financially responsible for my education and my future.

Of course being with my boyfriend also brings up thoughts of wanting to transfer to where he is (University of New Mexico) although it’s something I wouldn’t consider doing if I truly felt like USC was my place to be. I fear it might look bad for me to trade up USC for UNM, although I know it would be much more affordable and I would have the companionship and support that I really miss. We’ve both discussed it and are committed to each other long-term. I’m just conflicted because I wouldn’t hesitate to transfer if I went to just some state school, but USC feels like a big deal.

As you can tell my thoughts about this are scattered so I truly would appreciate any input. Thank you!

It’s a bad idea to transfer to the college your boyfriend attends. You feel now that it’s a long term relationship, but honestly, you’ll be hard pressed to find a an older person here who didn’t feel like that as a young adult, only to split up with their significant other at some point.

And if you do split up, what happens? You’re stuck in New Mexico? If you two are meant to stay together, it will happen regardless of where you go to college. There are also plenty of people here who can attest to their relationships withstanding separation during college years.

If your GPA is high, transfer somewhere with a good reputation in your major. Personally, if your parents can afford any college, I wouldn’t go to UNM, unless you feel you will be happy there. Be sure that you aren’t just thinking the grass is greener elsewhere.

I see some troubling signs here. You stopped liking college of your dreams and want to quit it to go to a mediocre state school in New Mexico with your high school boyfriend, which may completely change trajectory of your life.

You are probably good at your instrument and enjoyed music to become good enough to get a scholarship at USC but you suddenly stopped liking music and quit your major even though you knew it would cost you your scholarship.

You don’t want to dress up, make friends or party because you don’t have will or extra money to spend on shallow stuff and you want to stay loyal to your boyfriend.

All of it may be coincidental and school is probably a misfit for you as it has this reputation of being a money and party based community.

It’s also possible that you are depressed and feel like moving to New Mexico would fix everything. It may help or may complicate your life even more.

Let’s put New Mexico on side for a moment and think of alternative solutions you can think of to improve your situation. Are there any? What major or interest you want to pursue now? What other colleges you may want to attend?

USC is no longer fully affordable because you have changed your major. So yes, you probably do want to think about getting out of there.

You write that you just want to get on with your career, but you currently are an undecided major. What are your career goals? Where would those be better served? Start with that, and you will be able to find an affordable, workable, option.

Honestly, do not go to where your boyfriend is PLEASE do not go. He is not your husband, he is a boy-friend. Not to be pessimistic, but if you were to move to him and your relationship doesn’t turn into lifelong marriage, you will always regret that decision. But, if he was “the one” for you and wanted to be with you forever, he can wait 4yrs out of the next 50+ lifelong years.

Moving away from that topic,
USC is a very very good school with a LOT of networking opportunities that you would actually be throwing away. Not saying you can’t network elsewhere, but… you can’t network to the degree of which USC students can network.

You need to speak with an academic advisor asap about feeling lost, because I never did that & I lost SO much time trying to figure it out on my own. At USC, you can at the very least create an interdisciplinary program or a broad major, join clubs of that major, fraternities meant for career rather than alcohol, find internships, do research with professors that have insane experience/connections.

One of my favorite quotes = "You don’t know what you don’t know"
Because you can have everything you need where you are right now in Los Angeles, but you have tunnel vision because you feel alone, not because you can’t afford it. There are scholarships and loans. I know loans are scary, but a smaller one that’s manageable can save your butt, then you can either pay it while pursuing school, before it adds interest, or you can keep getting scholarships, and you may not even use a dollar of your own to pay it back.

Making friends isn’t about looking pretty and having money
It’s about having a common interest
Some people are self-absorbed and look like life is great when it’s actually not
USC has highly intelligent students who understand that partying isn’t everything and you can find them by doing every single thing you have even the slightest interest in. You can also get a job off-campus and make friends that way, so it’s not all about your school 24/7

There’s literally so many employers that see USC on your resume & might be an alumn and get you in the door because they support people who were once in their past footsteps.

If you think you need time, your academic advisor may be able to help you set up a leave of absence for a semester, to give you the space to get some mental clarity, relieve anxiety/stress, and sort out your financial situation (possibly work 1-2 jobs to save money if needed). But, if you take an absence, be as proactive as possible. Explore any interest you can think of, read books on those subjects, ask professionals and students about their experiences, learn anything you can & stay motivated towards finding your passion and your purpose. Happiness follows your purpose, not your relationships.

Sorry, I didn’t realize this was posted in near Valentine’s day, So, correct me if I’m wrong:

-you’ve been at USC since August?

-Because of the Covid19, you have not been in class?

-You would rather be with your boyfriend but you don’t know what you want to study.

If you transfer, transfer to another school, not to his school.

It’s very important that you know that leaving a school for a boyfriend will cause you to have regrets that you don’t understand right now.

You also don’t understand that in high school, you have seen the same people and have grown up with those individuals. College is nothing like that safe environment. You need to find your tribe at USC or wherever you go but you need to understand that it will take time-you haven’t even given it ½ a year.

There are other introverts out there at the colleges.

Who’s to say you wont feel worse at another university???

My sister went to SC as an introvert. She has had no regrets as she learned how to maneuver her way, through USC, to find her tribe and earn her degree.

If you transfer, transfer because your career depends on it, not because your boyfriend is in New Mexico.

what did you end up doing?