General Question

Glow's avatar

Should I stay at the college I'm at now or transfer?

Asked by Glow (1366points) July 1st, 2009

The college I’m at now is going to take me 2 years to obtain my degree (it’s taking me about a year longer due to me having transferred earlier to here). Not only that, its a long 40 minute drive which has cost me 40 bucks a week in gas and added lots of great stress. A university near me is saying they can get me out in a year (2 semesters) but they have been really weird with what classes they accept, only 67 credits (when I’ve completed over 100!) They are making me take gen ed classes I’ve already completed like English, math, and computers and they registered me for absolutely NO classes in my major this coming fall…. They haven’t shown me what classes I need to take for my major, so I don’t know if they are being for real with saying they will get me out in a year… btw, this is a private university which will cost me 4 grand a semester while the other is completely free due to grants.

Which decision should I make? What should I consider? Am I making too big a deal over 2 years of 40 min commute time?

BTW, no adviser from either university has been helpful to me at all. I feel so stuck here, with no one to turn to ):

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12 Answers

Glow's avatar

I failed to mention that I do plan to attend graduate school.

kevbo's avatar

My gut answer is stay with your current situation and try to view your commute differently. Can you combine your commute and studies by listening to lectures or other syllabus materials while you commute? Driving is a right-brain activity that sparks creative thought. Perhaps you can bring a voice recorder and take voice memos as you process what you’ve learned that day.

Commuting is likely to be a fact of your life long after you graduate. It’s probably not your first choice for your time, but you’ll probably be better served to make the best of it however you can.

Glow's avatar

Thanks kevbo. Very good advice.

The reason why I let commuting play such a large factor in my decision is due to my driving anxiety. I have seen a therpist about it, which has helped to change my view on it a bit, but not lessen my anxiety.

I am indeed feeling stronger about staying now, but 2 years of commute time is still making me hesitate ): I know it sounds whiny, but but sometimes my driving anxiety gets so bad, my hands shake and tremble D: Yikes!

btw, the other university is 10 minutes away, and requires no highway! Plus the fact that they said I can get out in a year. :P (and so they say!)

kevbo's avatar

Assuming your school year is 180 days, then you are spending roughly $1,000 per year on gas. Spend another $1,000 (or whatever) and hire a driver. You’re still saving money over the private school, and maybe your anxiety will be better next year. Maybe make a deal with a cab company so that you get a better rate in exchange for guaranteed business. Or just pay on days that you really just can deal with driving. See if you can qualify for transportation benefits by pursing it as a disability. Get creative.

Jeruba's avatar

It sounds like you are way better off staying where you are. You can do some things to mitigate your commute situation:

— See if you can carpool with somebody who works or attends school there.
— Schedule your classes so that you don’t have to make the commute every day.
— Look into distance learning opportunities.
— Find somebody there who will let you stay overnight one night a week for $10 and cut your driving by saving an entire round trip.
— Can you rent a room closer to school? or spend one night a week in a Motel 6?
— If there are any state parks nearby, look into camping possibilities near campus, again maybe just once a week. How about a KOA? They have showers and everything.

You can solve this. My hunch says changing schools isn’t going to do it for you. With the $4000 you won’t be spending, you can do a lot to make your present situation easier.

gooch's avatar

Stay. You can get an advisor to sign a degree outline list what courses you need to graduate and as long as you stay in school without interuption they have to give you your diploma based on the paper they signed.

Glow's avatar

Thanks everyone. Its understandable what youre saying. I guess I dread having to do 2 more years of schooling with the added stress of driving ): Honestly, I want to graduate within a year, but im going to call my adviser tomorrow and see what he has to say about all this.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It sounds like the other school is trying to promise you things it may not deliver, especially if they want you to take more gen ed classes? If you intend to go to grad school, then you need a real degree from a real university.

Darwin's avatar

One concern should be the rankings of the two schools and what accreditation each has. Also, does either school have graduate programs in your field? The one with graduate programs would be the better choice, even if you plan to go on to yet another school for your graduate study.

And if the second school disallows almost 30 credits, how can they get you completed in just one more year? In general a bachelors degree can run anywhere from 124 to 128 credits, so are they expecting you to take some impossible load? I have taken as many as 18 credits in a semester, and that was a real bear. Will this be for a lesser degree, such as a BA instead of a BS, or even only an Associates?

And as others have said, you might do better to spend that extra $4000 on a driver, or a cheap motel room, or even paying for the gas and riding in someone else’s car.

drClaw's avatar

My commute takes about the same amount of time and I have found I prefer the bus to driving. When I’m on the bus I can work on my laptop, read, just sit and relax, listen to music, etc. you get the idea. When I drive though all I think about is how long the trip takes. Maybe you just need to find a different commute it really makes an impact on your day.

Also as far as feeling sort of stuck at your current school. I think this is something a lot of people experience, I know I did, but if you push through/tough it out you will be glad. I would only leave if the other college guarantees (I mean really guarantees so that you have no question) to get you through faster and for ultimately less money.

alive's avatar

just stay. can you live on campus or find somewhere closer? that seems to be your biggest problem

Glow's avatar

Thanks all! Im talking to my counslor very soon, and more than likely ill be staying, but I think ive figured a way to get my stay in college to be less than 2 years…. go for a BA instead of a BFA, especially since my grad school goal is an MA anyway :P

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