Transfer from Brandeis

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: Transfer from Brandeis
By Dumbuket (Dumbuket) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:14 pm: Edit

Hey all.

I'm a freshman at Brandeis, and while it's an ok school, I've known since last May that I did not want to go here. Unfortunately, the scholarship they gave me, (about 30K a year) and my lack of other options essentially forced me to attend.

I am going to give this place a year, and if I still feel unhappy, then I am without a doubt going to transfer.

I understand that it takes time to adjust to the college life, and you can't judge a place after only being there a few days, but I've known what this school was about for some time, and the actual stress of living a way from home is minimal. I'm just not thrilled, impressed, or even content with this school.

So I'm going to list some stats from my high school career, and some courses I'm planning to take this year. I'd like to know about what my chances are at transferring to some of the schools my friends and relatives enjoyed and that I myself liked very much.

The schools are: Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Columbia, Swarthmore, UPenn, MIT, Brown, and Dartmouth. (yes, I'm aware that this is ambitious, but I'd like to trade up. There are only a few good research institutions above Brandeis, believe it or not).

I had an 800 Verbal, 670 Math
800 Bio
760 Chem
730 Writing

5's in the following AP's
European History
Language and Composition
Literature and Composition
US History
Macro and Micro Economics

I had 4's in the following APs

American Government and Politics
AB Calculus

I had about a 3.9 GPA in High School, which put me in about the top 25 percent, (it was a competitive school)

I ran cross country, fenced, was on varsity quizbowl, and debated for a year

I'm a National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar.

I also did research at Columbia University during the summer of my junior year on E-Coli signal transduction, a continuation of work I got into at one of those UPenn summer programs.

Truth be told, I was kind of uninvolved in high school. I had a small group of very good friends, but I mostly read a lot and got very lazy on my school work. I'm told that I was suffering from depression and an anxiety disorder; the result of years of domestic conflict between squabbling divorced parents. I'm reluctant, personally, to medicalize my problems or declare myself a victim.

I'm planning to take a Cell Anatomy course, A journalism course, a seminar on the social contract, (mostly readings from Plato and Machiavelli and stuff), and maybe calc again or philosophy or maybe econ. I'm into neuroscience or biochem, but I want to pick up as much history and philosophy as possible.

So what are my chances at transfer after a year?
I'd like to just make the best of my year here, make some good friends, get into a few clubs, and then pick up and leave for a school that excites me more. Also, let me know if I should be doing any more or any different courses.

By Pgs1300 (Pgs1300) on Thursday, August 28, 2003 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Columbia, Swarthmore,Duke, Northwestern and UPenn will be good matches,you will surely get into one of them.No one can say about Harvard,Stanford and Mit but you have a decent shot.Please eval my chances at:

Chances at RPI,MIT,U.MICH..

By Supernova (Supernova) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 12:03 am: Edit

i admire you for giving brandeis a chance...instead of getting all discouraged and depressed that you are going to a school you're not excited about, you're being optimistic and giving it a try. i respect that, good luck to you and i'm sure you can transfer out if you do well in your first year.

By Cmaher (Cmaher) on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 03:50 am: Edit

I'd stay if I were you. I doubt Harvard will thrill you, they probably have a crappy administration and a few professors who dont give a crap about undergraduates also.

What exactly is wrong with Brandeis? Just rely on yourself, dont let the school bring you down, 30k is a lot of money.

Btw.. heres a secret, most smart/gifted people suffer from mild "depression" or "social anxiety disorder". At least you had a group of friends.

I have not a single good friend in my high school, just a bunch of associates that I talk to before and during class. I suffer from a somewhat demasculinising and confidence shattering physical condition. I have't been to a real social event in about 3 years (man I'm a loser). My parents too went through a messy divorce. My "mother" (shes more of a provider) obviously has some psychological problems, probably because she is a Vietnam War Refugee and was surrounded by war as a child. Trust me, it's not so bad.

By Dumbuket (Dumbuket) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 05:52 pm: Edit

I understand where you're coming from, Cmaher, my parents also went through a messy divorce... and no matter what anyone says, parents don't just trap you in the middle; they often target you.

But I think that the depression and anxiety issues you're talking about are symptoms of underlying problems... problems I at least have dealt with and conquered, I venture to say.

At any rate, as much as I know that a week and a half isn't enough time to judge properly, I haven't met very many people here that are as, I don't know... intellectual? Academic? It might very well be that way anywhere, but if so, I'd like to know first hand.

Cmaher, you're not a loser. I don't know you, but I'd guess that you're going through exactly what I did, at one point. You just need to seperate yourself, physically and intellectually, from your parents. You'll feel better when you get to college. I know I have, and I don't even like it here much.

By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, August 30, 2003 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Sometimes it's not the right match. But as long as you are at Brandeis and willing to give it a chance, how about finding some extra-curricular that's likely to attract the more intellectual students.(I don't know... a philosophy club? debate? math club? theater?... depending on your interests). I can't believe there aren't smart and intellectually driven students at Brandeis. Could it be what you're seeing is the sudden whiff of freedom that happens in the first few weeks of college -- freedom to party, away from parental controls -- among students who were pretty much to the grindstone in high school? If so, perhaps the atmosphere will get more academic as the reality of college classes sets in.

By Dumbuket (Dumbuket) on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 06:58 am: Edit

I suppose you're right sac. As a matter of fact, you completely convinced me not to consider transfer. What was I thinking? Why didn't it ever occur to me to join a club? And freedom! Yes! That's exactly why so many of these people are acting the way that they are! Because lord knows, my stoner friends certainly didn't all act this way during high school!

I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but really, don't you think that I'd be pursuing the clubs in college anyway? And I'd especially be doing it if the social life was so unsatisfying. I'm getting into a cycling club, (which is really cool), I'm doing the Brandeis outreach program, I'm going to be teaching for Princeton Review, (the paycheck should help defray the surprisingly high cost of meals here, even with the mealplan), and I'm going to see if I can use university resources to propose a lecture series.

As far as the people are concerned, I never said I haven't met anybody "smart" or "intellectually driven". I knew the kids at my high school, though, and I can say, without exaggeration, (because I know there's a tendency to exaggerate when you reminice) that the student body isn't as academic as my old school's seemed to be. I never said that they weren't intellectual, Sac, just not as much so as I recall my friends to be. And I never even brought smarts into the picture. Watch out for imprecision of language, Sac... if you get sloppy, you're going to miss people's points more than you think.

At any rate, I have two friends here at the school who came with me from home. I've promised myself not to cling to them, since I need to branch out. What little converstion I have had with them, however, has suggested that they, too, are kind of disappointed. One of them is perhaps the most brilliant person I've ever met, (it's not like the school is just a bunch of lifeless premed zombies and party goons) but both of them wish that they had applied themselves more in school right now. I'm sure that there's a ton of reasons why people might feel this way, but it just makes me think...

By Sac (Sac) on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Your sarcasm is unbecoming, but I'm glad to hear you are making the efforts you listed to get the most out of being at Brandeis. If it doesn't work out for you, good luck with your transfer.

By Dumbuket (Dumbuket) on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 04:19 pm: Edit

I'm sorry for the sarcasm... I was starting to sound like I used to. At any rate, I'm doing my best, and I have met people I connect with... it's just that I don't think that this is the school for me. I think that, given enough time, I'd probably fit in anywhere. What I don't want to do, though, is become complacent here when I know that this isn't where I belong. I'd like to end this thread now, unless anyone can guage my chances, with the following statement: I'm extremely happy at the school... and extremely disappointed with the school. I think that for the brightest students here, to stay four years and leave happy is to admit that they finally settled for this place, more than anything else.

By Skyelis (Skyelis) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 12:24 am: Edit

hey dum. i don't know anything about your chances at those schools; i've seen better stats on this board, but you're one of the first people i've observed posting stats here who can write a functional paragraph, so that should work in your favor.

By Dumbuket (Dumbuket) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 04:29 pm: Edit

thanks for the sense of humor, and I appreciate the compliment

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