D is in a funk. Finished frosh year at a HYP school. Was very active and involved including cheerleading for football and basketball, multiple plays/musicals/productions, and easy paid work which allowed studying with a great hourly pay rate. Kept a GPA at around 3.8. But is missing the sun and the perceived free-living social life of college in SoCal. Is interested in applying for a transfer to USC for better social life, better greek system, better sports and school spirit and better sun. We live in SoCal. Career ideas include film producer, advertising, marketing etc. Cost will be approx. the same for both schools....full freight at both. Alternatively, D is thinking about transferring to a CC, working full time, and applying to USC as a Jr. It's unclear to me if D thinks that she is too smart to need a degree for a job, is too smart to need the HYP name for any boost in jobs, or wants to save money. Does not want to attend UCLA due to weaker alumni networks.
I am at a loss as to how to advise her. D wouldn't be able to apply to USC until Jan, but is even thinking about not returning to HYP to go to a CC. It's difficult to figure out exactly how unhappy D is, but if she is considering a CC, she must be fairly unhappy. I'm concerned that this unhappiness might still be present even if D transferred. I've recommended counseling when D was at HYP; now that D is home for the summer, any counseling will probably cost money. Advice?