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Is it worth transferring schools?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I'm a sophomore philo major at USC, but you probably already knew that from "Adventures in getting a white girl" and other such bullshit threads. Anyway, lately I've seriously considered transferring; not because I am wholly disgusted with the school, but because perhaps I'm slightly dissatisfied. I'm not sure if this is because of my surroundings or my perspective. It's kind of a hassle to redo the entire app process and then adjust to new surroundings etc... So I'm wondering if it's worth it. I mean, I made such a poor decision coming out of highschool. I'm kind of an idiot, but you knew that... here were literally my reasons for choosing SC over other schools (actually just UCLA, NYU). 1. A lot of my high school friends were going here. Now I see/talk to/hang out with them once, maybe twice a month. 2. I've always wanted to go to SC, mostly because I liked their colors. 3. Hot girls..... but seriously, as an aggregate whole, it's not like the student body is significantly more attractive than other schools I've visited, but that there are more 9's and 10's that raise the average. But really, who cares about eye-candy. Here are reasons why I want to transfer (in no particular order). 1. School reputation. USC is a good school. It's about as selective as UCLA and Berkeley, but it doesn't get any respect outside of Socal and is better known for spoiled and stupid rich kids and football than academic rigor. I figure in the eyes of a future employer this would come back and hurt me. 2. Student body. The majority of student body is fairly smart and accomplished, but there are quite a few "spoiled and stupid rich kids" among us. We call them legacies. They are the prototypical USC student of the pre 90's... dumb as fuck but with enough money and connection to buy them into college. I dare say about 15% of my classmates fall under this; they really detract from the holistic experience because they talk the loudest and know the least. A note about college: Personally, I'm under the impression that the "perfect fit" school thing is complete bullshit sold to affluent people so they can justify spending an obscene amount of money on college. That if you go anywhere where you won't be completely alienated and amputated from your surroundings (say... if I were to go to a super conservative university, a total "bro" one or a historically black one or whatever)- any and every college can be both a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Anyone care to chime in? Anyway, schools I'm considering... UChicago, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Brown, Darmouth, Northwestern. I'd love to go to Columbia, but I wasn't competitive in high school so . TLDR SUMMARY: I'm kind of a superficial status whore and don't think my school has a good enough reputation to give me a good shot at meaningful employment... also there being A LOT of dumb kids that without their money/connections would be going to a second rate state school makes life miserable. Is taking a chance and leaving everything here behind, completely changing surroundings and climbing the arbitrarily college prestige ladder a worthwhile investment of time/effort?
post #2 of 55
for some people, transferring is a good idea. for unfocused rambling philo majors, it is not. lets face it as a philo major your only chance for employment meaningful or o/w is law school or waiting tables, so better to start focusing on one also not sure what "SC" is but given above info you should consider whether you are a legacy
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scientific View Post
for some people, transferring is a good idea. for unfocused rambling philo majors, it is not. lets face it as a philo major your only chance for employment meaningful or o/w is law school or waiting tables, so better to start focusing on one

also not sure what "SC" is but given above info you should consider whether you are a legacy

Ohsnap ?

And way ahead of you bub, the only real EC's I have are law internships and the only work experience I have so far is waiting tables. . I'd prefer not to make a career off of it.
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by scientific View Post
also not sure what "SC" is but given above info you should consider whether you are a legacy
loooool. sorry cp. you probably know this by now, but getting admitted to a t14 law school requires competitive grades and a high lsat. if you end up at berkeley, it will be harder to get good grades because there's less (no) grade inflation. admissions boards probably won't give a shit that your B work at cal translates to A work at some other place. also, only like 10% of the class gets an A in philosophy courses at cal. i'm taking an upper div philos class this semester and the grading is really tough. i haven't opened the book or taken the 2 prereqs though.
post #5 of 55
In your case, I would only transfer to an Ivy since you're taking philosophy. You need the competitive advantage later on from the Ivy reputation.
post #6 of 55
Unless you think you're very competitive, I wouldn't transfer if you want to go to law school. As other posters have said, it's 95% GPA/LSATs and getting a higher GPA at a better school is a lot harder (cept Harvard). Given that you don't think you can get into Columbia, I would probably stay at USC and work on having a 3.9+ and getting a 165+ on LSATs which should get you into a decent law school (T14 at least) whereas if you had a 165+ and a 3.5 at NYU you wouldn't get into the same schools, same goes for a 3.2 at Columbia.
post #7 of 55
dear god
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
A note about college: Personally, I'm under the impression that the "perfect fit" school thing is complete bullshit sold to affluent people so they can justify spending an obscene amount of money on college. That if you go anywhere where you won't be completely alienated and amputated from your surroundings (say... if I were to go to a super conservative university, a total "bro" one or a historically black one or whatever)- any and every college can be both a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Anyone care to chime in?

I agree with you up to a point - students should, to some extent, be able to adapt to any environment in college. In reality, a place like Dartmouth and UCLA will have incredibly different environments and I believe students should really consider which one they would prefer to spend their undergraduate years before committing. I knew exactly the type of place I wanted to be in as an undergrad, and it ended up giving me some of the best experiences of my life. Others wound up on the same campus seeking prestige above all else and have had a very difficult time. I think there is a fine line between adapting because you have to and thriving because it's exactly the place and evironment you want to be, and this is where I think fit is important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
Anyway, schools I'm considering... UChicago, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Brown, Darmouth, Northwestern. I'd love to go to Columbia, but I wasn't competitive in high school so .
?

I worked in admissions at one of these and mentored a lot of transfers through the process. Work your essays, then cut them down by 90% and make them good (even though everybody thinks their essays are aw3some). 95% of the stuff they get is shit, and you can be damn sure every thing you write will be read by multiple people.
post #9 of 55
USC sucks. Sorry.
post #10 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bach View Post
also, only like 10% of the class gets an A in philosophy courses at cal. i'm taking an upper div philos class this semester and the grading is really tough. i haven't opened the book or taken the 2 prereqs though.
I like to consider myself a competitive person, one that isn't really fazed too much by the prospect of hard work and sacrifice. But dear god, 10% A's on a straight scale is just ridiculous... especially at Cal where everyone or just about everyone is as smart or smarter, works as hard or harder. Do let me know how that class plays out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valor View Post
Unless you think you're very competitive, I wouldn't transfer if you want to go to law school. As other posters have said, it's 95% GPA/LSATs and getting a higher GPA at a better school is a lot harder (cept Harvard). Given that you don't think you can get into Columbia, I would probably stay at USC and work on having a 3.9+ and getting a 165+ on LSATs which should get you into a decent law school (T14 at least) whereas if you had a 165+ and a 3.5 at NYU you wouldn't get into the same schools, same goes for a 3.2 at Columbia.
NYU...? But yes, point well taken.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post
I agree with you up to a point - students should, to some extent, be able to adapt to any environment in college. In reality, a place like Dartmouth and UCLA will have incredibly different environments and I believe students should really consider which one they would prefer to spend their undergraduate years before committing. I knew exactly the type of place I wanted to be in as an undergrad, and it ended up giving me some of the best experiences of my life. Others wound up on the same campus seeking prestige above all else and have had a very difficult time. I think there is a fine line between adapting because you have to and thriving because it's exactly the place and evironment you want to be, and this is where I think fit is important. I worked in admissions at one of these and mentored a lot of transfers through the process. Work your essays, then cut them down by 90% and make them good (even though everybody thinks their essays are aw3some). 95% of the stuff they get is shit, and you can be damn sure every thing you write will be read by multiple people.
Yes I'd prefer one environment over another, but in the end, I would prefer being employed above all. In before... LOL DEN Y PIK DAT MAJOR?! If the prestige/opportunities afforded by one school is significant enough over another then I'm more than willing to just stfu and suck it up. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
USC sucks. Sorry.
Evidence? I kid, I will just assume that umad USC will overtake Berkeley for undergrad in my lifetime (maybe in yours)? With that said, I agree for the most part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by intent View Post
In your case, I would only transfer to an Ivy since you're taking philosophy. You need the competitive advantage later on from the Ivy reputation.
Does the Ivy alone carry that much weight? I mean, wouldn't Cornell be closer to Berkeley/LA than it would be to Yale/Princeton?
post #11 of 55
I go to usc too lol
post #12 of 55
NYU is pretty cool, my sis goes there. Kinda expensive though. I go to Middlebury, real awesome school. I mean as long as you transfer to a school with a pretty good reputation and without major stereotypes of bratty ass, idiotic legacies, you'd have a good time. Most of the better schools have good facilities, good profs, good students.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post

Anyway, schools I'm considering... UChicago, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Brown, Darmouth, Northwestern. I'd love to go to Columbia, but I wasn't competitive in high school so .


Things must have changed a lot since my college days.

But if you definitely think you would have a chance at transferring to Cornell, Brown, and Dartmouth, then I think you would have a chance to transfer to Columbia too.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
I'm considering... UChicago, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, Brown, Darmouth, Northwestern. I'd love to go to Columbia, but I wasn't competitive in high school so .
I just want you to be aware that the aforementioned schools exempting UCLA are quite difficult to get in to. Even UCLA is an impressive school, and for the record, so is USC. People may try to feed you lines about finding a school that "fits" with you and your aspirations, but I will be frank that you should try to graduate from the school with the most name cache. This is not out of snobbery, but instead it is about you getting the most of your (or your parents) investment. Even though it is just four years of your life, people will inaccurately use your university as a quick mental shortcut to gauge your intelligence and in the working world, to decide how qualified you are against other candidates. I am almost ten years out of undergrad, and my alma mater still alma matters. One thing that is also rarely considered by students is the quality of the school's alumni network. The alumni network can be a fantastic vehicle in the professional world.
post #15 of 55
I have an investment banking and consulting background and would say that in general, the working world outside of California perceives USC and UCLA as less competitive or sought after than the other schools that you mentioned. However, they are respectable schools.
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