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Should I transfer schools? HELP!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AUDREYHEPBURNFAN, Dec 2, 2000.


    AUDREYHEPBURNFAN 10+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2000
    I am confused as to what I should do. I am a sophomore at the University of San Francisco, which is a small private school and I often find myself in modes of depression. I like the city and my surroundings. I also enjoy my labs and my science classes because I like the fact that I can get help from my professors during office hours.Another positive thing about being here is that I am near UCSF. I am a clinical research volunteer in the emergency department and I love what I am doing. Another upside is that I am doing well academically at USF and I got a 4.0 my freshmen year.I know I can acquire effective letters of recommendation for med school. However, there is a major downside which I think is responsible for my depression. My shifts at UCSF are usually on Friday nights and I usually get back to my room at 11:30 PM or midnight. Every week, during the walk from the bus stop back to my room, I find myself bursting into tears because to a certain extent, I am very unhappy. During the walk home I usually reflect upon my week and I always realize that the friends I have made here are only superficial. I also realize that all I do is eat, sleep, study, and volunteer because I haven't met people I truly want to spend quality time with. For the last three semesters, I have made lots of friends to party and hang out with, but the drinking and partying just becomes redundant and pointless. However, I have yet to meet individuals that can hold an intellectual, deep, meaninful conversation. How do I put this politely? The majority of the people around me are shallow and superficial. On top of that, my real friends always ask me why I decided to attend such a mediocre institution. When I say I am stressed, they say they don't understand how that is possible since I am at an institution that isn't quite so competitive. This doesn't exactly make me feel good about my decsion to come here and it just squashes my self-esteem. They don't realize that o-chem and bio require effort regardless of where you go. Most of my friends are at Cal Tech, Berkeley, Standford, and the other more "prestigious" colleges. They usually jokingly imply that I am a moron because I chose USF when I got into Berekeley, UCLA,and other "better" schools. I hate the fact that I always find myself bursting into tears when no one else is around. When I flew home for Thanksgiving, I sent out transfer applications to some of the UC schools, but I am iffy as to whether I want to leave USF. Then again, if I transfer, it doesn't guarantee I will be happy either. In addition, I chose USF because I received a lot of scholarship money and I wouldn't get any financial aid from the UC schools.Perhaps I chose to go here because it was more economically efficient for my parents. Ahhhhh! Sometimes I feel the "forlorness" or "anxiety" Sartre talks about in his book, Existentialism and Human Emotions. Am I making any sense to anyone? Or am I just an overemotional individual who needs to get a grip of things? Do the advantages of a small institution outweigh the loneliness I feel? Should the monetary factor play into my decision as to whether I want to transfer? Or should I just bite my tongue and stick it out and just hope med school is more pleasant? I would really appreciate constructive advice. I didn't intend to ramble and I apologize for the length of the message.-depressed college student-
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  3. mehring

    mehring Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2000
    Stay where you are. Things will get better with a little help. Do some volunteering outside the usual premed things, even outside the usual college things, to meet more diverse people. Take a yoga class out in the community or something, that will have some older people in it.

    I too was miserable my first couple of years of college, because I couldn't find someone I could really relate to. I applied to UVM to transfer but then decided not to go. And I'm glad I didn't, because around that time I met some great people, and eventually my future husband.

    And to your friends who don't understand how you can be stressed at an "easy" school - screw 'em. Of course organic is hard at any school, because there are smart people like yourself there to compete with, and competition is fierce. When you kick their ass on the MCAT they will be crying in their cereal.

    I admire you for taking that scholarship to USF, and it sounds like you are doing awesome there. transfering is hard. Don't do it!
  4. Test Boy

    Test Boy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 1999
    I would strongly consider transferring to another school mostly b/c you're depressed where you are. Since you have better friends elsewhere in "better" schools, you should try applying there. Berkeley will probably take you since they've accepted you once before. I think a change of environment might be a good thing for you.
  5. rohit

    rohit Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Troy, AL, USA
    i feel i'm kind of in the same situation, except for the happiness. i got accepted to "better" schools also, but chose a small state university, where the only thing i see is bad is that its reputation compared to other schools in the area. but i pay no tuition fees, and its is definitely more relaxed education wise. But i think that going to a small school like this and USF is that you get to learn more on ur own, of course i don't for sure know this because i've never attended an ivy league school, but from here it seems like there is too much competition going on there. And If I were you I would stick with where you are, and you will eventually find some friends that are not superficial. I've found lots of friends, that i have very intellectual thoughts with. This summer I did undergraduate research at a "better" institution and I don't know if it was the situation I was in, but I really didn't find too many people that I could talk to like that as I have at the small state school.

    Don't know if that makes sense, but thats what i have to say.

    rohit patel
    "knowledge is limited. imagination encircles the world" -- Einstein
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    Before you make any decision, speak with Dr. Alan Ziajka, the preprofessional advisor at USF. You will not get yourself into trouble by speaking frankly about your concerns, which ones are real and which are imagined. You need help in examining various options as to what to do next. Of course, you will be free to make your own decisions afterward but without some of the guesswork that plagues you now.

    2130Fulton Street/UC 558
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    [email protected]

  7. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    First off, it seems like it probably was a wise decision to have turned in those transfer applications -- you may not decide to leave USF, but at least you might have the option now, and it gives you some time to think about things. Second, I sort of wonder about some of your "real" friends if they mock you for attending an "easier" school -- I hope this doesn't hurt or offend you too much, but IMHO, if they really cared about you, I doubt they would say stupid things like that. Now, about transfering -- if you really are miserable, I think it makes sense to look at some other schools, although it's good that you realize that another school might not be perfect either. I actually went to one of the other "better" schools that you mentioned, and trust me, I went through some serious bouts of depression, questioning, etc., and so did many of my friends. It sounds like you might just be going through "sophomore slump" which is pretty common, unless you felt this way last year as well. If you have been feeling depressed socially since freshman year, personally I would leave, and take my chances elsewhere. It might not be better for sure, but if you've spent 2 years unhappy at USF, what do you have to lose? It sounds like you are smart enough that you could probably do pretty well at any of the UCs. Your GPA might drop a little, but if your quality of life improves, isn't it worth it? By the way, if you really are considering transferring, I really, really recommend UC-Santa Cruz -- I took my o-chem labs over summer session there a couple of years ago, and I loved it! If I had to apply all over again, that is the only UC that I would consider seriously. I met so many friendly, nice people there, and this was even in the premed classes. Based on my recommendation, one of my best high school friends transferred there two years ago, and loves it. The profs are excellent and very encouraging.

    Anyways, you probably don't have to make a decision on transferring until early winter or spring, so until then, it probably makes sense to try to make the best of your situation through extracurricular clubs, classes, etc., and try ones that aren't necessarily premed related. Also, if you haven't really before, try taking one "fun" class next semester or quarter -- it sounds like you might be going the bio major route, so maybe take an english or drama class, or a foreign language -- a lot of times those tend to be smaller classes, and you might get to meet some people outside of your current social sphere. And also, don't feel like you're weird at all for feeling this way -- I think it happens to the majority of students at one time or another, and you will find the best way to deal with it, whether it's transfering, or finding your own special niche at USF. Good luck.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited 12-02-2000).]

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