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In Need of Advice Post-Transfer Decision

jule009jule009 20 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi, so I've posted a couple times already regarding transferring, but was looking for a bit more advice possibly from people who may have been in a similar situation or who have transferred.
So, to re-hash the story for anyone who hasn't seen my past posts, I went to Emory last year. I loved it: I made so many amazing friends, I did great in my schoolwork, I worked really hard to get good positions and opportunities in clubs for next year including an internship opp and one hazy research thing. Despite all this, I threw out a couple transfer apps just to see if any school that may have a bit of a better program in Physics/Astronomy might accept me.
I got accepted into Penn. They're cost is pretty much the same as returning to Emory (a change from previous posts, they gave me more money). But they do have a better Physics/Astronomy program. And I was having trouble finding solid research opps at Emory that I really loved (the only one I did found is possibly transferring out next year...so it wouldn't last long).
So, I deposited to Penn. At the time, and even now, I don't know what drove me. I know it wasn't because it was in the Ivy League (I've kinda gone through that whole Ivy obsession phase and now really just care about finding somewhere to make me happy). I think I liked that it could hold more opportunities and that it was a fresh start...and an adventure in a way. I know my parents were also really pushing for me to go, but I don't think they were the driving factor.
Despite this, ever since that decision, I've been a bit of a mess. I keep wondering whether it was worth it. Is it worth it to give up everything I had at Emory for a slight curiosity and minor possibility that Penn might be better? The thing is, whenever it's midday and I'm living my life, I think, "Yes, of course. I might as well go for it and take that risk." But every single night I end up having panic attacks and getting uber depressed and I usually can't sleep for hours (I already have some mental health issues and this is the worst it's been in a very long while). So, late at night (as it is now), I doubt myself and I wonder whether it's worth it to give Emory up but also whether it's worth it to have to spend every night like this -- feeling so terrified I don't know what to do. I know a part of my fear is not knowing, but this late at night I keep wondering whether my decision was dumb seeing how much it's tearing me apart.
The truth is, even if I go to Penn, I can go back to Emory. I know that -- they told me that themselves. That if after my first semester, I find myself unhappy, I can just head back. In spite of that, usually at night I begin wondering why waste a semester at Penn at all. Even though, I know that it might not be a waste and I might find myself liking it a lot more than Emory, I still fear that I'm going to waste time there just to head right back to Emory for the spring. And I've started to just wish I could skip past the whole going to Penn part in the first place and just go straight to Emory.
Okay, that was kind of long, but I'm essentially doubting whether I should even give Penn a chance. I know that right now, since I'm panicking over it, I'm leaning towards no, simply because it's what would stop the anxiety I'm feeling. Then again, I'm not totally sure that's why I'd say no -- what if it is my gut trying to tell me Penn's a bad decision? I guess I'm afraid to regret going to Penn (like right now), or I'm afraid I'm going to regret not giving it a chance. I just was wondering if anyone else faced a similar situation. I was also wondering how to deal with it, if anyone has got any advice.
Sorry for being a total mess. Any advice is well-appreciated.
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Replies to: In Need of Advice Post-Transfer Decision

  • PublisherPublisher 7753 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Did you experience similiar anxiety attacks last year when making a final decision regarding which school to attend for your freshman year of college ?
    It seems as though you have valid reasons for transferring (better academic program in your major, better internship & research opportunities at Penn & moving to a more prestigious university without any additional cost), and that you have valid reasons for wanting to remain at Emory (you are doing well & you are comfortable at Emory).

    Try reading a psychology book or article that discusses "fear of the unknown", "leaving one's comfort zone" or "fear of failure".
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  • jule009jule009 20 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you! I did have somewhat similar anxiety but it wasn't this bad
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  • keuka1006keuka1006 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey I'm in a really similar situation right now!! You're not alone in feeling this way--everything you said I have felt at some time or another throughout this process!! I'm so unsure of what I'm going to do and feel like there's going to be regret either way :(
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  • jule009jule009 20 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi @keuka1006 ! That's so good to know I'm not alone. Yeah, I feel like it's scary because you always read about people transferring because they hate their old school and they need the right "fit". But for me it's like...my old school "fit" perfectly and that's part of why I'm so conflicted. Like, I can see reasons for why I should go, but it's still difficult to ignore how amazing my old school was and worry that maybe I'm leaving the right fit behind. But I was also recently given some good advice that there is no right or wrong, it's just a journey. And I do think it's possible to have more than one fit. I don't know, but it's good not to be alone. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your response :)
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  • keuka1006keuka1006 3 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I totally get that too! I don't feel the way most people do when they transfer and like you said, I really grew comfortable and found happiness at my school. Random anecdote but this situation really provided some clarity for me lol- the child I nanny for got her room painted and when she saw the new color, she was so sad about leaving her old color/room behind. I told her she didn't have to completely forget about the old color/the past to move onto something new. Those past experiences and memories will always be there even if you choose to move on. It's really helped me to remember that I don't have to hate or forget about my old school just because I'm transferring, I can treasure my time there and acknowledge the benefits while also looking to the future and being excited for something new:) I guess I just realized it doesn't have to be so black and white- you don't have to hate your old school to transfer, just wanting something more or different is enough.
    I ended up transferring and I just moved in at my new school! What are you thinking of doing?
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  • jule009jule009 20 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi!! @keuka1006 I’m also just about to move in to my new school. Truth is I’m more terrified than ever. I had a bit of a mental breakdown over this already and I think I just hate how different it is from my old school. I don’t know if maybe I’ll realize that I do love this new school or not. Right now I’m very uncertain though! Good luck with your new school too!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6989 replies49 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You are just not going to feel the same after a week on campus as you felt after a year at Emory. It's unrealistic to think that you would.
    Sounds like you transferred for the academics. Make the most of the opportunity you have, they are abundant! You are at an AMAZING school! Start getting involved in clubs and activities. Take the passion you had for your organizations and pour them into Penn. Get out and meet people. Throw yourself into your classes.
    Reach out to health department so you know where to go for support for your illness.
    Deep breath. You've got this!
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41756 replies450 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Stay. Yes a new place doesn't feel the same as a place you'd learned to know and love. But....that's normal. Make Penn your new normal. Do what it takes - decorate your room, join clubs and groups, go see films with your corridor/house....
    Get involved in academics and find kindred spirits in new clubs.
    Transferring is tough - most can't help but compare to their previous college. So what you're feeling is normal but doesn't indicate you should go back to Emory.
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  • jule009jule009 20 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hi! @MYOS1634 Thanks for the response. I think I'm conflicted because I understand doing that, but at the same time, I can't help but ask why. Because I'm being given a chance to go back to where I was happier, and in my head, I'm wondering why even bother continuing on this transfer process if I can still get what makes me happy. (just wondering what you think!!)
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