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What should I do?

lostcollegekid88lostcollegekid88 2 replies1 threads New Member
Could really use some advice and opinions on this. I am a current sophomore attending a really strong academic private school as a transfer. However, since transferring I am really struggling to adjust socially. I have found that most friend groups were solidified last year and socially it has been a disappointing year. Basically I really miss my friends from last year and my old school. My question is what should I do and is it worth it to go back to the original school?

School 1: Top 70 school, Business School, 3.9 GPA, good friends
School 2: Top 20 school, Economics, 3.4 GPA, socially not going well with basically no friends

I'm beating myself up over this because School 2 is a much better school especially academically, but it has been so bad socially and I cant seem to break into friend groups and find my footing socially. In my situation would you stick it out for the degree and hope things improve socially, or go back, sacrifice some academic prestige for overall happiness and better friends?
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Replies to: What should I do?

  • 4Gulls4Gulls 557 replies0 threads Member
    You will be halfway done after this year, right? Can you study abroad for a semester next year? That would give you a new experience with a new group of people. Some colleges have "study abroad" programs that are in the US, too (i.e. DC). You'd get the experience of studying/living overseas plus bonding with a new group of people.

    I would say stay where you are. You might find that, should you go back to your first school, many of your friends are studying abroad / doing outside internships junior year. Have you been back to visit old school since transferring? How far apart are they geographically? Your true friends there will still be your true friends down the road, regardless of whether you transfer or not.

    If you do stay, try joining a new club or activity. Something like an Outdoors Club where people go places, do things. I imagine as you get into upper level classes there will be more group work projects that should also help facilitate making friends. Once you get to senior year, the focus will be on landing a job and everyone will be heading off in different directions.

    One last question: Did you apply to transfer back yet? There's nothing wrong with applying (and not missing the deadline) and then deciding to stay where you are.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1432 replies38 threads Senior Member
    My d transferred after freshman year and was experiencing the same thing. She had a very small group of other transfer students that she was friends with, but that was really it. She ended up joining a club sport (that she had never participated in before) and has made other friends on the team. You might consider joining a club or sports team. The Outing Club that 4Gulls suggested is a great idea.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10436 replies153 threads Senior Member
    If you stay then you should do what has been suggested, joining clubs and the like. When frosh show up they are all looking to make friends and so just talking to people around you in the dorms or class is enough to meet people. As you point out, after going thru a year of college together many people have made solid friends and aren't especially interested in auditioning new ones. It isn't impossible, but not as easy as it was before.

    There is no doubt that at a top 20 school recruiting for jobs is going to be stronger, but it isn't the case that everyone at your school has an easier time finding a job. It also depends on gpa, interview skills, and experience. You can control all of these. If you were to go back to your old school then you need to make it a priority to find internships. Ironically being at your current school can help; use the career center and try to land an internship this summer (soph year).

    What to do is a personal decision. If I was in your shoes and wasn't targeting a career in an industry where academic pedigree can play a big role (Wall Street, consulting, etc) then I'd transfer back.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7405 replies76 threads Senior Member
    Don’t think in terms of one group of super tight friends. That may come, but often college students have several ‘pods’ of friends- some from your dorm / some from an activity / some from your major. The farther you go on the more the 2nd & 3rd group matter.

    Starting over is hard, but the friend groups are really not as closed or permanent as they look from the outside.

    And, @4Gulls makes an important point (cf Dylan Thomas): you would not be going back to what you left: you would be going to whatever that has become. Groups change when their members change. And people- especially young adults!- change a lot in a year.
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  • lostcollegekid88lostcollegekid88 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @mikemac I appreciate your response. Thank you. I feel very stuck in this situation because as you mention there are advantages to staying at the T20, all of which I understand. I hate to "quit" or leave because of social reasons, but it has been extremely difficult to break into the pre-existing friend groups. It also probably does not help that I had a great friend group last year, so I still feel much closer to those people than the people here. It is February, and I have given it a pretty good shot, and I really have not made a ton of progress friend wise or socially wise. My parents think—and they are supportive regardless—that in the immediate and day to day, I will be much happier returning to my old school. However, they also cautioned that I would eventually probably regret leaving a great situation when it comes to graduate school, diploma etc. I don't disagree with them, but I also have to consider my quality of life right? I'm not crazy on that part, am I?

    TRDL: I would be happier back at my old school, but don't know that it would "work" in the bigger picture and am unsure if social problems is a good reason to leave a school I'm very lucky to attend.
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  • lostcollegekid88lostcollegekid88 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @collegemom3717 I understand your point. Thank you. I do feel I have a lot of acquaintances. But, I don't have friends. I'm really not that much of a partier, and have no issue just chilling and relaxing with friends. It has been finding those friends that has not gone as planned. I mentioned this above, but I think I'm in a really tough spot here, albeit still a very fortunate one, and I'm not sure whether to prioritize academics and sacrifice a little happiness, or to follow my heart and friends and go back and re-appreciate the things I had there.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13040 replies29 threads Senior Member
    ^ Well, the thing is, you still have friends. Those at your old school.

    One question you could ask yourself is _why_ do you think you _need_ one tight friendship group at your current college to not feel miserable? And what about joining clubs, etc.? What about finding different communities (both in college and outside or online) and joining different groups?
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