Mary Jane’s in a spot that millions of current and former college students can identify with: She hates her school and wants out.
For an unfortunately large chunk of first-year students, college life ends up sucking once you get to campus. That super-awesome orgy of intellectual, cultural and social stimulation promised in your campus tour and marketing materials never quite materializes.
This happened to me when I arrived at Boston University in 1992, all the way from Box Elder, South Dakota. Although it’s cleaned up now, Box Elder back then was a great place to go if you wanted to run away from home and hide out in an abandoned trailer living off Cheeto crumbs and crystal meth until your mom and her current boyfriend gave up on trying to find you.
I looked and dressed like an overweight Joe Dirt, and shockingly, I did not fit in well with most of the wealthy private-school kids from New York and Massachusetts.
So anyway, I feel Mary Jane’s pain when she writes:
So I’m sort of stuck in a dilema here… I’m a freshman at a public state school in my state… The only thing is, I hate it here.
That’s all? 🙂
My classes are good, but I don’t like the atmosphere of the school (very party oriented and peppy preppy school spirit-y), where it’s located (I’m from Milwaukee… which has nearly 1,000,000 people, this city has barely 15,000), my roomate (think hannah montana marathons
Is Hannah Montana popular among college students? I admit, I’ve been trying to avoid her like the plague for the last several years, but I always assumed she was the domain of middle-school girls. Have her fans made it to college already?
and screaming at the TV whenever it comes on),
In anger? Why? You’re right, that would be annoying.
and finally being so far away from everything (I’m 4 hrs away from home, and 5 1/2 away from my boyfriend of 3 years).
Now this, you can deal with — it’s a mindset thing. I’ll get to that below.
I want to go to a different school next year, but the only other schools around are in Chicago and extremely expensive.
All of them? There must be some affordable schools there, right?
The schools in chicago are probably better schools (I’m going for hospitality and there are thousands of hospitality schools in Chciago
Yours is pretty highly rated for hospitality, though. By virtue of nothing other than Chicago’s enormity, I’d say sure, there are probably more highly rated hospitality programs somewhere in the city. But they could certainly be much, much more expensive.
plus both schools are ranked high in the list of private schools
I’m not sure which two schools you’re referring to here.
and i would only be around an hour away from my family and maybe half hour away from my boyfriend.
The whole issue of being close to home, family and girlfriend/boyfriend varies so widely that I have to pretty much give the same super-general advice to everyone. So, take these principles as guidelines and apply them to your situation as you will:
a) Your family will always be your family, and you’re only in college for four(ish) years. Neither you nor they will perish if you’re scarce during those years; in fact, being away from them forces you become independent, which is a critical thing. By all means, keep in close touch with them, come back for holidays and breaks, videochat every Thursday night, or whatever. But basing your school choice (which affects your major, which can affect your lifelong career) on where your family lives is not usually a great idea.
b) No one likes to hear this, but boyfriends and girlfriends come and go. A LOT. I went to three different colleges and had a different girlfriend follow me to each one. None of the relationships lasted, and my experience is the rule, not the exception.
Now, I’m not saying you and your boyfriend aren’t the exception. You may be, you may have one of those “Titanic” love stories in you. But if you are, it won’t matter that you’re a few hours apart for a while.
But if things go bad, you can’t change colleges with nearly the ease that you can drop/add boyfriends. There is no lengthy and painstaking transfer boyfriend application, and it’s cheap to switch (provided you stick with guys who have jobs). Obviously, this is not so with colleges. 🙂
The main problem is the finances… My school currently costs 14,000 R&B included, while both of the other schools are roughly 23,000 (they are offering me scholarships for my grades though, about 7,000).
Well, the scholarships make the cost roughly even. $14,000 vs. $16,000 is too close to call in my book — but luckily, we have plenty of other criteria to consider here! 🙂
Also, I’m worried people would think I was too codependant if I moved closer to my family and boyfriend.
Are you worried other people will think that, or are you really worried that transferring will make you feel that way about yourself? I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s still true — it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference what other people think, as long as you’re secure in your decision.
But maybe you’re not — which is OK, too, as long as you realize it. Is it possible that voice in the back of your head calling you a codependent is actually your own voice? Sometimes people project their own self-doubt into other people’s mouths, and as a result, they worry too much about what those other people think (I know this because I’m one of those people!).
OK, enough psychology. Well, not quite. Here’s the thing: you have to do some self-examination and reflection, at some length, and decide whether you’ll be able to, for lack of a better term, “live with yourself” if you move back to your family and boyfriend.
The question is whether you can quash or coexist with that voice in the back of your head saying you’re codependent, and only you can answer that.
What should I do?
Well, back to what I was saying before about mindset: we make things harder for ourselves by concentrating on what we don’t have or what we don’t like, rather than what we do.
For instance, if you’re in a long, boring class, and you sit there and watch the clock tick, the class seems to last FOREVER. If you concentrate on something else — anything else at all, reading, listening to the professor, texting other people, doing homework for another class, etc. — the time goes by much faster.
It’s the same way when you’re in a different town. If you’re constantly thinking about what your current town doesn’t have and comparing it to Milwaukee, then you’re bound to be miserable. If you focus on really trying to dive into the things that it does have and try to stop thinking as much about what it doesn’t, you’ll enjoy your time there much more and, consequently, it will begin to fly by and you’ll be back home visiting your family and boyfriend in no time.
All people find themselves in an unhappy spot sometimes, and the first and most important question to ask is whether you’re doing everything you can do to fix that — before pulling up stakes and hoping that a geographic move will help.
I don’t know the answer in your particular case, but I’d guess you’ve probably still got some last-ditch effort in you to try and make it work. Especially since you’re apparently a good student in a good program at a relatively inexpensive school. That’s worth trying to salvage, if at all possible.
— That’s my advice for the day. What about you all? What would you do if you were Mary Jane? Let us know in the comments below.