I’m finding freshman year hard, and I feel so dumb. Should I transfer to community college?

That sounds like a good plan, says our elder. You don’t sound dumb to me at all!

Dear EWC

I am a freshman at a great university, but the transition from high school to college has been hard and especially since I am in the corps. I have different times where I am super sad and all I want is a hug from my mom and dad. Lately, I have been super stressed out because my academic performance is horrible and it is very demotivating because I am probably trying ten times more than my peers but my grades still suck (like failing suck). It is even more stressful to think that I am having to pay thousands of dollars in college tuition and my grades are poor. Plus, I have no idea what I want to major in… I am conflicted between different majors. In all honesty, all I know is that I want to help kids from low-income families… maybe make a nonprofit or something to mentor kids and actually help them grow into great leaders. I am struggling in school and I feel so dumb but also I miss my family so much. I am thinking of transferring to a community college because it is way more cheaper and I would be living with my family. And not to mention the classes are easier so I would be able to raise my GPA. Also, I can take different intro classes to figure out what I enjoy doing and then transfer back into my university or another one?

Lloyd replies

Hi there. I felt a strong connection with your letter. Although it has been a very long time ago I remember my freshman semester at a large university away from home being a very stressful time. I think all of us mature at different rates and are ready for big life changes when we’re ready, not when the calendar says we are a certain age. I’m sorry that you are having a hard time, but it is a good sign that you have an understanding of your issues and are looking for guidance.
First of all, you don’t need to know what your major is going to be as a freshman. Part of the college experience is to take different courses and begin to find out what appeals to you. I commend you on thinking you want to be involved in the nonprofit world, helping underprivileged kids. There are many fields you might consider to prepare: law, sociology, business, accounting, psychology, nursing. You have time to figure that part out, but I would recommend, once you get settled in school, to take advantage of counselor resources to help guide you.

In a small percentage of the letters, I read the writer really answers their own question and I think your letter is in that category. You’ve put a great deal of thought into your situation and I agree that you would be better served by being closer to your family and doing your first two years at a community college. I know lots of very successful people that did that and transferred to a four-year college for their bachelor’s degree. It’s very important for your sense of self-worth that you are successful in school and not feeling ‘dumb’. And, and this is not a criticism, you may just be young for the away from home college experience and two years at this age makes a huge difference.

So, if you haven’t already, share with your family your feelings and concerns and get their input. I think if you express, as you have in this letter, your desire to be closer to them for now and you’re wanting to be successful, not failing, in your studies you’ll get their buy-in. You don’t sound dumb to me at all. I’m rooting for you.

Letter #: 431523
Category: School

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