<p>bananainpyjamas you have always been so great to other kids looking at Duke or UVa, and I am sorry you are not settled in Duke..my son is a Virginian in your class at Duke and has some of the same divided feelings re the fact that Charlottesville is a great college town...diverse with many outstanding departments and lets face it..it is a very upbeat beautiful county in Albemarle...and the lure of UVa remains strong in our family. I see UVa grads day in and day out and they are all plum crazy about their school. I also see many high acheivers who took their UVa degrees very far. </p>
<p>Do not make your decision on rank in USNWR--that is basically meaningless. We do not think UVa is lesser at all, in fact it could be argued that it is "greater" in some respects, but now is not the time to glorify UVa's assets or compare the two institutions. You have the goods to make it work academically anywhere. Instead, focus a bit more on internal issues before packing up.</p>
<p>When I was your age, I also had a sophomore year crisis about not fitting into my college, which I ended up resolving by staying and just being even more true to myself and getting OK with my college not being a perfect fit. I recall my classmates were not too interested in my talking about leaving to go to a better fit college..as they were dug in and obviously didn't appreciate anyone focusing on the negative. (I am still hearing about this!) It was a very good choice for me to stay but not a perfect choice I must admit. However, once I committed to staying, my work became more meaningful in the community and the classroom, and I did acquire life long friends I communicate with weekly even now.
I don't know that you want to go into details on the boards, but I bet academics are not the main reason you don't feel at home. I think you should consider getting some short term counsel at Duke (four sessions focused on this might make you feel clear--usually you make an oral contract with a counselor about what you want to talk over, and you would be surprised at how often 4-6 sessions is all it takes)..I am a formally licensed (lapsed) counselor and I know they have total confidentiality rules and will respect that you are at a crossroads..in fact, I think they see a score of people in your shoes each year and respect that Duke is not for everyone. </p>
<p>But before you move to any other college campus, get very articulate about why exactly. Maybe what needs to change is in your outlook or expectations, or you are just a bit frozen in some way at the moment and about to go through some social personal growth changes. Or maybe it really is a matter of lack of fit and inspiration.</p>
<p>One thing I know about sophomores at UVa is that they are largely off campus in apartments now as housing is not guaranteed past freshman year. That means you would have to break into a system of how people have grouped themselves up there, find a couple of roommates and this is all more loose and off campus. Maybe that is an appealing prospect to you, but at any rate, you should do the work to get closer to why you are not really excited about the life that you have built at Duke..what is internal and what is external in the pluses and minuses.<br>
Whatever you decide, thanks for the good will advice you have always posted to others. You deserve to be truly pleased with your college world. But I recommend that you probe a little further into what it is you want for youself in your 20th and 21st years. Remember, signs of Identity Diffusion (see Erickson's stages for all humans) means..ta-da! You are NORMAL. You aren't supposed to have clarity now, but as a parent, I would want to know you were enjoying the exploration and the search for your place in this world. Transfer may be the most inspired choice for you. How great that you have maintained an academic record that would make transferring possible for you, too. Keep your head up and your spirit open while you figure out your next year's home base.</p>