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Unhappy freshman

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Replies to: Unhappy freshman

  • ariesathenaariesathena Posts: 34
    edited May 2013
    I'm curious as to what made your personal experience improve starting soph year?
    Freshman year: I was attempting to get my engin. degree in three years. (That was stupid.) I was spent first semester dating a controlling whack job who barely let me have time to study and flipped out when I spent time with friends and not with him. (He stalked me after I dumped him, which made the first part of second semester a bit rough.) I made a few friends, no one very close.

    My aunt gave me great advice: "Don't say that you don't have close friends until you've met all five thousand people at your school." I was an incredibly shy person, but forced myself to meet people and accept social invites. My schedule was still very, very rigourous, but I set aside time for socialising.

    Unlike in high school, you don't interact much with people in class, don't eat at the same lunch table at the same time every day, etc. There's a lot of social interaction in high school that happens during the school day; if the rest of your time is taken up with homework, sports, and work, you still get some good social time in. That's not the case in college.

    No matter where your D winds up, she needs to chill the heck out. She simply will not maintain the social life that she wants if she's getting straight As, doing varsity sports, acting in or directing plays, and working. Really, if she wants a social life, pick two.
  • jonrijonri Posts: 42
    edited May 2013
    Changing universities won't change the underlying issue that you can't be a straight-A student, cheerleader, actress, AND social butterfly, all while working, too.

    She's doing it now. There's no reason to think she can't keep doing it. There are a surprising number of people who do equivalent things.

    I don't think it's really about trying to do too much. It's about going to a college where not a heck of a lot of people bother going to football or basketball games and/or going Greek. She wants a different social atmosphere. She'd probably be happier at a college like Duke--although maybe not since theatre is very weak.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Posts: 34
    edited May 2013
    She's doing it now.
    No, she's not.
  • HannaHanna Posts: 20
    edited May 2013
    Eh, this kid as described may well be able to do all of that at USC (or Stanford or Duke). OP, did she rush/pledge at her current school? If not, that would be a great way to find folks with a similar social mindset.

    A strong sophomore candidate has pretty good odds in USC sorority rush, but it's too late for the OP's daughter to enter this fall. She'd be at a real disadvantage rushing as a junior, but that doesn't mean it's hopeless.
  • whoopdeedoowhoopdeedoo Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Op here,
    I agree that D's story seems to have holes in it. This is what prompted me to start this thread. Maybe she is just unhappy and this is more of an emotional decision and maybe she is rationalizing it by discussing weather, Greek life, sports and school spirit. Or maybe it's just a case of "the grass is always greener." Maybe it's purely the weather and the culture. Or maybe it's because she wanted different roommates, which will change soph yr.

    The thing that interests me is that there are many threads about unhappy freshmen. The advice is usually overwhelmingly weighted for the student to stay at his/her current school. Here is an example:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/1464645-should-i-transfer.html

    Is the difference in our situation because she is already involved in many ECs and still not totally happy?

    Wanted to see if anyone knew the answers to these questions:
    1. If D transferred to USC as a Jr and wasn't totally happy, and if she wanted to transfer back to her first college ("grass is not always greener"), would she go back as a Sr or have to repeat Jr year?
    2. Where would we find out the answer to the following: if she pledged a sorority in soph at her current college, would the same sorority at USC automatically accept her? I've heard that USC with a particularly hierarchical sorority system might not take the transfer student, and then the student would be "stuck" without a sorority.
    3. So it's tough to rush a sorority at USC in Jr year?

    She started seeing a therapist. Thanks.
  • whoopdeedoowhoopdeedoo Posts: 6 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    D also revealed that was thinking about not returning to HYP in the fall and attending a cc because kids in cc who get into Phi Theta Kappa (the cc equivalent of PHi beta kappa) can get merit scholarships for their jr transfer to a 4 yr college. After D got accepted SCEA, didn't apply to other colleges thereby foregoing any possible frosh merit money. At least it makes me realize what she is thinking with the cc option.
  • BobWallaceBobWallace Posts: 66
    edited May 2013
    USC does offer merit scholarships for transfers, but it doesn't appear that they are tied to Phi Theta Kappa.

    http://www.usc.edu/admission/undergraduate/private/1314/uscScholarships1314.pdf
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Posts: 5
    edited May 2013
    Think Jonri's comments in post #34 hit the nail on the head. It doesn't make sense that someone that involved in those sorts of EC's would be that unhappy, unless that student is at a school where the emphasis is on things at the other end of the spectrum. Also I agree with the other posters who say that the weather can have a huge effect on one's mood. Coming from SoCal to any New England college is going to be rough. Just a very different scene in all respects.

    USC is a great school for her major and that transition makes perfect sense to me. But HYP to a CC - not so much. I think she could very well end up being the lone Blue Whale in the proverbial pond.

    Also think that the counselor thing may be a bit pre-mature. See how she feels after she has made a decision on her plans for next year. Freshman year is difficult for the majority of students.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    The girl is unhappy. Who cares if she's at HYP? Some of you are so blinded that you think that she "should" or "has" to like HYP. Why do they have to be universally liked? Why can't people have different tastes? It's not for her. So transfer and move on.
  • sophieandlolasophieandlola Posts: 4 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I think she should do what will make her happy. I know several kids who turned down the ivy leagues to go to a state flagship because they wanted to stay in their environment (we are in FL). I also know extremely bright kids who went to schools for their name/location and are now back home because they just didn't care for the school. In the long run, having a good experience in college and having the degree is more important then where it came from;)
  • windbehindwingswindbehindwings Posts: 5 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Make an appt at usc admissions. Pop over there and give your DD a chance to feel the vibes of the people & campus. They will help her design a transfer plan. She then has more info to consider. Once she is admitted ( if she chooses that option) it is possible to transfer to her preferred school within the university. There are many students who turned down hyp/Stanford to attend USC. She will find interesting peers & faculty (some hired away from ivys, UCLA & Stanford). Also consider the usc alumni network. Living in SoCal this is fabulous. Disclaimer: I have 2 Trojan grads & I am a hyp/Stanford grad myself.
  • maggiedogmaggiedog Posts: 4
    edited May 2013
    "Not being happy going to HYP isn't a condition that requires psychological intervention."

    I agree that being unhappy at a high reach school is not a psychological "problem." However, counseling to sort out the confusion, uncertainty, ambivalence she is feeling is ALWAYS helpful. This is not "psychological intervention" and does not mean she has a psychological problem.

    So may people think you have to be REALLY depressed, disturbed, etc. to get counseling. Ultimately, counseling is a tool to objectively help clarify difficult decisions in a way that may not be as clear through the help of friends and family.

    Strongly recommend having her see a therapist to figure this out.
  • windbehindwingswindbehindwings Posts: 5 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    OP has dated that her DD already started seeing a therapist
  • tptshortytptshorty Posts: 4
    edited May 2013
    I would be careful about making all these transfers, especially after sophomore year, and especially just to be in a sorority. What if she doesn't get in one? They can be notoriously, well, let's say, picky. There's no guarantee as a junior that she will get in one, or even if she gets in one, that it will solve her problems. My D was in one for a year and ended up leaving. She made much better friends through the Snow Team, where she met guys and girls who just loved to ski and didn't judge her. I think it is harder for transfers to fit in anywhere, at least at the beginning. If she already has friends there, that would help.
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