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Transferring out of UC Berkeley...

mochabubblemochabubble Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
edited September 2012 in Transfer Students
Hey everyone. I'm actually here because I need some advice and some help picking what colleges to apply as a transfer student to. I know loads of people would love to be at UC Berkeley, especially in the really good College of Chemistry, but this place really isn't just for me.

Little background. Haha actually, most of this is just a copy paste from an old chance me thread here.

Gender: Female
Race: Asian
College: UC Berkeley 1st year Chemical Engineering major
High School: large well ranked public school


Unweighted GPA: 3.94
Weighted GPA: 4.76
Rank: no rankings at high school

ACT Score:
Composite: 34
Math: 32
English: 35
Science: 35

Chemistry: 790
Math II: 780
Biology-M: 750

AP Scores:
Japanese Language: 5
Chemistry: 5
Environmental Science: 5
Biology: 5
English Lang AP: 5
Physics B AP: 3(yeah I stopped caring senior year after I picked Berkeley and saw none of them actually counted. Hooray for random bubbling?)
French AP: 3
Calculus AB: 4

Ballet for 11 years at one studio: Accepted into top ballet schools in the nation to stay year round. Refused so I could study.
Internship at The Aerospace Corporation in high school.
Ballet: Teacher Assistant and Rehearsal Assistant after I got injured senior year.
Library volunteer: 3 years
Captain: Ocean Science Bowl. Founding member as well.- 3 years
Co-Captain: Science Bowl-1 year
Piano: 10 years

1st Place The Aerospace Corporation Science Fair (Junior)
Finalist and Honorable Mention L.A. County Science Fair (Junior year)
2nd Place Palos Verdes Peninsula Science and Engineering Fair (senior)
1st Place Los Angeles County Science Fair (senior year)
3rd Place California State Science Fair (Senior year)
Intel ISEF finalist (senior year)
Marymount Book Award
National Merit Commended Student

Now here's the fun part. College.

GPA: 2.67 (ouch. I know)
I also have no EC's, no clubs, nothing. I don't know my professors (they're quite unapproachable I've found) at all. Nothing.

Here's my deal. I've been in and out of therapy now. First semester, I nearly killed myself, but never told anyone. 2nd semester, I actually tried. This is why my grades were so terrible. I've been dealing with the repercussions of child abuse, depression, bullying, and loads of other stuff. It's hard to study when you're more occupied with if you should take all those pills or not, or jump off the roof today or not. Some people say that's just an excuse but really, you wouldn't understand how hard things can be until you go through it yourself.

Anyways, I'm hoping to get of of the UC environment and I'm hoping I can transfer to a liberal arts school in California, mainly Southern California so I can be closer to my mother. I was looking at Occidental, Chapman, the Clairmont McKenna colleges, but I don't know my chances considering my abysmal GPA. I don't know how the next semester grades will pan out, but I doubt it will be much better, though once again, I'm hoping I'll nail those finals.

It's sad because I got into great liberal arts schools like Wesleyan, Vassar, Hamilton with loads of financial aid and scholarships, but I turned them down because my (abusive, in the physical and emotional sense) father wanted me at UC Berkeley. Oh an another thing to consider is that I will have to pay for my own schooling now because my father isn't paying for college unless it's UC Berkeley Chemical Engineering.

Does anyone have any ideas of schools I would actually have a chance of getting into? I did so well in high school, and look at what a failure I became in college. =( Ah such is life?
Post edited by mochabubble on

Replies to: Transferring out of UC Berkeley...

  • mochabubblemochabubble Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    please? I'm so lost. I just need some guidance. The counselors here aren't too helpful and I'm quite sure they're more interested in incoming transfers than transfers going out.
  • cordova1992cordova1992 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    i am really saddened by your story and I wish you the best of luck. Regarding your grades, I suggest that you try your hardest to raise your gpa for the upcoming year and apply then as a transfer applicant. GPA is super important, but many times, it is not the most important thing. Do yourself a favor and get involved! Get involved with things regarding depression and mental health - stand out! More importantly, the essays are probably the most important component of your application. Explained to the admissions committee how being depressed and abused has affected your life BUT explained how your grew from it. How you become a better person and how you can contribute your life experiences to their communities. I know this because I face my own circumstances (I am an undocumented immigrant). I feel that if you do this, it will completely boost your application. We all face challenges in life. BUt, the most important thing is to grow from them! Maybe you can switch out of Engineering and do something in the mental health/sociopolitical field. It seems that you could do very well in classes that cater to your situation and where can you use your own experiences to grow!

    UC Berkeley Mental Health

    Here is more information and I hope it helps! Try considering something like a Psych double major or even minor! PM is you need anything else!

    P.S. Consider adding Pomona College to your list!
  • caldreamin13caldreamin13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I read your post and im really sorry for you struggles. You seem like you are an extremely bright student placed under difficult circumstances. Cordova's response seems pretty spot on but there are many different routes you can take. I have heard from a multiple people who have depression state that Berkeley is a difficult atmosphere to succeed in because of the high level of competitiveness, solidarity of students, and the bad weather. Already, you have explained as how severe your depression is and what it has caused you to do. You need to be in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable. With that being said, I think that your best option is going down south and going to a local community college to temporarily bring up your gpa and be in an environment that you are surrounded by your friends and mother. (not to mention the money you'll be saving as well) I know you're almost done at Berkeley for this year, so utilize your time at home over the summer and discuss as to whether you want to go back to Berkeley for your second year and apply to transfer, or just go to a local community college and finish your GE's over there. You could even contact Berkeley and extend your summer and not enroll for a semester to take some time for yourself and focus on your health, that is the most important aspect of this entire situation. Based on your highschool stats and your original acceptances to the liberal arts schools, I definitely think you'll have a strong application as long as you work on bringing up your GPA. You deserve to be happy, and I really genuinely wish the best for you. I know how difficult life gets and how unfair it can be, but you are a strong human being for coming this far, and it will get better with time as long as you focus on yourself and your happiness. <3
  • hopefultransfer2hopefultransfer2 Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Wow, I'm so sorry about your situation. Earlier this year, I was in a similar position as you (except not nearly as extreme), and you're right about how people really have no idea until they go through it. I've applied to transfer for fall 2012, and even though I still have no idea where I'll be next semester, I already feel a lot better.
    I'm sure that a incredibly compelling easy can come out of your situation, and that will play a major role in ameliorating how the schools you apply to see your college GPA. With a great essay and your SAT scores and high school GPA, I think you're definitely a viable candidate for the schools you've listed!
    Good luck & stay strong! You really will be fine!
  • SonybdSonybd Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    The GPA will be an obstacle for you. It won't be a permanent one, but if you were to begin the transfer process now with that GPA and no significant upward trends, unfortunately in a general sense the only schools that will accept you will likely be schools not up to your academic caliber, as demonstrated by your high school achievements.

    All of your options now involve either leaving Cal, or staying to enhance your GPA and get over the freshman slump.

    I personally would suggest--assuming you are insured and can afford outside therapy--leaving Cal. If you don't want to get behind in your studies then enroll in a community college, otherwise just take time off from Cal and re-enroll when you're ready.

    Otherwise, if you're sure you can handle it, stay at Cal, raise your GPA, and apply to transfer as an incoming Junior.

    All of those options represent a jarring change from your current lifestyle, just as your freshman year was a change from you HS life, that can exacerbate old wounds and worsen your depression. However, I wouldn't suggest staying at Cal as an increasingly downward trend academically can worsen your depression, increase stress levels, and lead to social isolation.

    Take time off and focus on your health, academics aren't the most important thing right now.
  • WaverlyWaverly Registered User Posts: 2,669 Senior Member
    There are many, many trying to transfer from Cal every year. It's not a fit for many.

    Your best shot is to pull up the GPA soph year and apply as a junior transfer.
  • mochabubblemochabubble Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone. This gives me loads to think about. I'll wait until finals are over and see my updated GPA before making a decision.
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Registered User Posts: 1,487 Senior Member
    I suggest going to a California community college for next year--and then try to transfer.

    The reality is that until you show prospective transfer colleges that you CAN get good grades in a college environment, they will pass over your application. They don't care too much if you fix your GPA at Berkeley or at a CCC... so I would strongly suggest a CCC for a year or two first.

    If you really turn it around at a CCC, get involved with ECs at the CCC and show a clear change while at the CCC, absolutely would you have a chance at some of the SoCal colleges you listed. Also, CCC is affordable, and you could attend a CCC close to your mother.

    I know quite a few students who had a rough start in college, turned it around in a CCC and transferred to very strong private colleges.
  • mochabubblemochabubble Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Thank you for the suggestion! My only concern about doing that will be wasting one year of tuition at UC Berkeley. I don't know how the credits will transfer over as well.
  • purplekinkpurplekink Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    good luck, mocha bubble. i go to berkeley too and am trying to transfer out. it's really not a sympathetic environment for people who are struggling.. i wish you all the best though.
  • xelinkxelink Registered User Posts: 1,125 Senior Member
    What I believe will help you most in the short run is becoming involved on campus. Join a few clubs, talk to people and make friends.
  • transferoutofcaltransferoutofcal Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I'm so sorry. Honestly, I think that if you explain your situation about the child abuse and your suicide attempts, then your GPA won't seem to matter as much. They can see that you did exceptionally well in high school and coming from UC Berkeley Chemical Engineering should help a lot.
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Registered User Posts: 1,487 Senior Member
    Actually, most colleges will want to see such a student be stablized both mentally and academically first--that is what a CC provides--a place to regroup.

    Most four year colleges don't take transfer students when they are still in crisis.
  • mochabubblemochabubble Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    I think I've decided to forego attending UC Berkeley this fall and heading to a local CCC. I think it'll also be good because I've learned that I'm not the engineering type, even though everyone told me I was in high school. I just hope this all works...
  • 1NonTradStudent1NonTradStudent Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Don't go to BCC or any in the peralta district. Go to DVC if you can make it out there.
This discussion has been closed.