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Am I making the wrong decision?

ahardboiledeggahardboiledegg 127 replies10 threads Junior Member
I'm about to start my second semester at SUNY New Paltz. I was initially very excited to go but had a rough first semester. I did fine academically and ended the first semester with a 3.78. But I had trouble making friends, didn't like my classes, couldn't find a job, and didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. I also had a pretty bad experience with my dorm, like noise, poor Internet connection, and heating problems. My dissatisfaction with the school ultimately harmed my mental health- I went through the semester feeling hopeless and completely disillusioned with higher education in general. Before college, I never considered staying at home, in fact I was completely averse to the idea. But since returning home for winter break, I've been a lot happier and I sleep a lot better.

So, I submitted a transfer application to CUNY for Fall 2020 with Hunter College, City College, Brooklyn College, and Baruch College as my top 4 schools. Room and board is such a large expense that I'd save thousands of dollars a semester (even after the cost of transportation from Long Island to New York City).

Transferring feels right to me, but I also feel like I'm taking the easy way out. I know that no college can solve your problems (learned that the hard way) and fear that I'll come to regret leaving New Paltz and feel as if I should have tried harder. New Paltz is also way smaller than all of my choices and I never pictured myself at a big school.

I know that I still have time and will do what's best for me in the end. What do you think?
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Replies to: Am I making the wrong decision?

  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1976 replies27 threads Senior Member
    This is JMHO but I would decide the top three things I need to work on/improve at New Paltz and return this semester and work on them.

    At the risk of sounding like an old person I find "your generation" to be inflexible requiring a great deal to be "happy" (whatever that is). You say you are "disillusioned with higher education" yet you have only been to one semester of college. That's like someone being married for a month giving advice on how to make a marriage work or determining that marriage is a bad contract.

    I think you should work harder and go with the flow. Does anyone sleep well in a dorm? Isn't that why college students come home and seep or for days?
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  • aquaptaquapt 2281 replies47 threads Senior Member
    edited January 16
    I don't think there's an imperative to stay the course if you've realized that you'd be happier as a commuter student *and* save a ton of money. I mean, if the school that you'd "gone away" to had a vastly better reputation than the one you'd be "coming home" to, then there might be more of a burden of due diligence, to give it every possible chance. But this is basically a lateral move, reputation-wise, so... if you're settled about the decision, that's all that matters.

    You do still seem concerned that you'll regret letting New Paltz go, however, So... what are your major and career goals? What drew you to New Paltz in the first place? What is the commute going to be like if you live on LI and go to CUNY? (Living at home and saving money is great if your home situation is good, but a tough commute will make you less likely to get fully involved on campus.)

    If you do decide to transfer, try to make a commitment to spend full days at school, not just your class hours, and make a concerted effort to get involved and make connections outside of your classes. Transferring isn't the easy way out across the board - it will be easier in some ways and harder in others. Be clear-eyed about the ways in which it will be harder, and proactive about how you will handle the challenges.

    Have you considered trying to stick it out at New Paltz and do well enough to transfer to Stony Brook? Would that be closer to home than CUNY, or no?
    edited January 16
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  • ahardboiledeggahardboiledegg 127 replies10 threads Junior Member
    @Empireapple Of course it's irrational to write off higher education after one semester, but I was so miserable at school that college didn't feel worth it anymore, especially since the college process leading up to my first semester was disappointing. Also, I often had trouble falling asleep, would wake up multiple times throughout the night, and sometimes couldn't fall back asleep for hours. Sometimes the noise from the practice rooms (for music) overhead would keep me up. But you do make a good point, I can't expect anything to get better if I don't work for it. However, I'm not sure how much I'd want to stay at NP even if a couple things improved.

    @aquapt I'm a history major and would possibly like to go into law. I liked New Paltz for its small size, its location in picturesque upstate NY, and the atmosphere of the campus and the surrounding town. I still enjoy all of those things but I've kind of come to the conclusion that I'd have a better time settling down there as an adult than living there as a student. I don't really have any interest in Stony Brook and since I don't drive yet the commute to a CUNY would be a lot easier (Hunter is about an hour away on the train). Thank you for the advice, I need to work to make friends no matter what.
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