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Might transfer universities :(





I’m hoping to once again get some perspective and maybe a little advice about university. (I ask too much of you guys!) I’m freaking out at life and I feel overwhelmed. 😓

  1. I was told at this university I’d have so many options for classes. Over time, I have learned I will never be able to take classes I want. In fact, I have a pretty damn narrow and limited selection. I feel like I was bamboozled, which you kind of expect schools to do but I thought a public state university would be less so. 
  2. I asked specifically if my required language classes would be available here. I was told yes, absolutely, 100%. I am now being told they never have and they never will. I need to either take them from another university online ($$$$$) or take them at my local community college ($$$$) AND they will NOT credit me residency credits. I will graduate later than I thought and this might disrupt my tuition plan.
  3. I’ve encountered the rudest professor in my life by far and it worries me because they teach multiple major classes. She has talked to other older, online students who have been working in their industry for decades that their opinions don’t matter because she has a PhD and they don’t. Her writing is so atrocious that several times us students have had to meet virtually to try to determine what she was trying to convey in emails, assignments, and even exams. Her feedback on assignments would simply be “no” or “did not follow directions”, and when asked for clarification, she would simply say “it was wrong.”
  4. A possible relocation is in the works that would take my future husband halfway across the country for his career, and the biggest reason I wouldn’t be able to join him would be to keep going to this school (online but in the state!) and have my in-state tuition. If I do join him, the tuition would skyrocket. We are still deciding what to do. This also requires me to put a pause on finding the above-mentioned language classes because I’m not 100% certain where I’m going to be living 3 months from now. 
  5. Future husband is transitioning into a new industry. I don’t want to give too much away but this change with my degree program puts us in professional enemy territory. I already feel weird about it. There will inevitably be comments made and questions asked about how we navigate morally when we have such opposite (and completely contrary) careers. I think it would be stressful at home. I don’t want to deal with this. And to be completely fair, I’m not a stickler for my degree program. I chose it because it sounded somewhat interesting, and was convenient and cheap. Is it worth this?

Should I just transfer schools and start a new program?

I’m 30 years old!!!! It took me 3 years to get my A.A. degree, I was on track to graduate at 31, now it’s pushed back to 32, and if I transfer, it will most likely be pushed back even more. Especially because I probably won’t be full-time anymore, I’d go back to my original plan of doing school part-time and working part-time. It feels like life keeps slapping me down to the ground and telling me I’ll never get a college degree, I’ll never get a career before I’m an old lady with a walker. This is the cheapest school option if I stay in-state, but is it worth living separately as a newlywed? On the other hand, graduating with very little debt is great. 

My future husband makes more than enough for us to survive and thrive off his one income. I’m super grateful for that and I understand how much of a privilege this is. But being raised in conservative Christianity surrounded by fundies (some talked about here!), I feel like it’s some sort of sick cosmic joke that I’m in this position. My dreams in life are to be smart, educated, and have a career. Why is this so damn hard for me?!? (Oh I know….SOTDRT set me back a nice couple of years. 🙄)

Oh, and I’m planning a wedding in addition to being a full-time student and possible relocation, with a future husband who most likely will also be spending months at a time out of the country for work. SO FUN YOU GUYS. 

Am I freaking out over nothing or are these legitimate concerns? Should I just stick my nose to the grinder and get this degree program done no matter what? Should I transfer? I don’t know what to do!!!!


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@meep Big hugs to you ❤️

Did I get this right: The school doesn‘t offer the required language class for your degree and one of the professors who teaches several classes is an asshole and a pain in the ass to work with. Plus the degree you are working for will put you in an opposite career than your future husband (probably like if he works for a big oil company and you for an environmental protection agency).

This sounds like a lot of short and longterm stress. Is this worth it if your degree is nothing you are really really interested in and doing it for having a degree? I get that you feel you‘re getting old and that you want to have a degree and a career. I‘m just wondering if you can achieve this in a different way?

What if you move to the new place and look for a university with a degree you really like there? If your future husband makes good money could he help you finance university? This would give you your own life and a goal while he is abroad for months at a time.

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@Smash! Yes that description pretty much sums it up and that's a good example you used. I originally wanted a degree in either geography, biology, or biological anthropology. But those aren't often offered online. I did get accepted to some online geo/bio/anthro programs but I went with my current major/school because, like I said, convenient and cheap and the classes were sort kinda related to what I wanted to do. I thought it was the best option but I'm not afraid to admit when I was wrong!

There is a big state university in our relocation city. That is most likely where I'd transfer if I decide to do that. They don't have exactly these majors either, but they have more generalized majors where you can pick concentrations and other electives. At least with that school I'd know I'd have access to all the classes and options. In-person scares me being older thane everyone else! lol. It's really tempting to just want to get the degree done and get a career started (at least before I'm middle aged! LOL) but I guess if it's not what I really want, what's the point? And maybe going for a more general major and a less niche major will allow me more flexibility (because this will most likely not be our last relocation.....). I'd also be able to take extra math classes, which I've been wanting to do, but my current school doesn't allow online students to take math classes. :( 

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@meep I‘m in my mid thirties and had to drop out of one degree in my thirties (right before the pandemic struck). I understand your concerns. Still, especially at this age it‘s important to choose something you really like when going back to school IMHO. Studying is harder at this age with adult responsibilities than when you go to college/university right after high school. Because of this I think the university you attend shouldn‘t provide you with additional hassles that makes it even harder.

Making mistakes is human. Choosing a less than ideal university happens. Take it as it is - an experience that allows you to make a different choice. Especially if you have such a good reason as relocating.

Some questions that might bring more clarity: Can you imagine to finish your degree at your current university with all that comes with it? Is this scenario easier for you than starting fresh in the university of your new city? Would there be credits you could transfer? How much of a burden will it be long term for you if you and your partner work in such different careers?

For the age difference in classes: I loved doing in-person classes. Of course I was somewhat of an outlier due to my age but made friends pretty quickly. 

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Ok, so I gave you advice before and you've ended up here, so I'm not sure this will be helpful! But I'll try:

First off, you DO have a degree. You have an AA. I know it's not a BA/Hons BA/BSc, but it's just as much an accomplishment. Be proud of what you have achieved, especially given your initial disadvantages.  You have worked far harder to get here than any run-of-the-mill student from a decent public school with family support has to complete BA.

Second, the courses you have taken this term will count if you move somewhere else. It gets a little annoying to reapply again and make the decisions again, getting transcripts, etc, etc, but you're not losing the learning, the credits, or the experience.

Third, moving to be with your husband is a SUPER understandable reason to move. Don't feel bad if you decide to move and switch universities. Just because other people stick at one institution their entire degree is no reason that you have to, if your circumstances change.

Fourth, the university not having the courses you want, plus having hostile/unpleasant/toxic faculty, is a great reason to move. It's not giving you the educational experience you want. Don't throw good money after bad -- avoid the sunk cost fallacy.

And finally, you and your husband are not enemies, even if the subjects you have chosen are different. You aren't your job, any more than your husband is his job. Just because he's a (made up example) landlord and you're an homeless outreach social worker doesn't mean you can't see different aspects of the same problem; anyone who can't see that, or asks you to defend your choice of spouse, is the ignorant oaf.

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Sarcastically spinster


IMO, from what you've said, it sounds like literally the only reason for you to stay at the current school is because you've always dreamed of being educated, and you want to have the degree.  

It's not worth it.  

A degree is an accomplishment and something to be proud of, sure.  But spending a lot of money and investing a lot of effort into a degree just for the sake of having a degree, when it's got as many cons as you've listed off (bullying professor, not getting to take classes you really want, long-distance marriage).  

It sounds to me like if you stick it out now, you're going to regret it later and wish you'd had that time with your husband, and gotten the education you really wanted, rather than just going through with it just for the sake of having an education.  

Delaying on your dreams isn't ever fun, and has a disappointment with it.  But it sounds to me like it would be trading in some short-term disappointment for the sake of being happier with your long-term decisions.  I'd just recommend that, if you do make a change to a different school/different degree, that you sit down now and make your plan for how you're getting there, rather than just putting things on hold indefinitely.  If it makes sense to move with your husband, wait to enroll somewhere else until you get in-state tuition, etc., then maybe plan for some online general-ed classes you can take and transfer in.  Set a timeline for when you plan to enroll.  Talk to the school in advance to make sure you know what they use to determine in-state eligibility and take those steps ASAP so you don't end up stuck in limbo.  If you're still taking steps forwards, it will feel less like you're just giving up on your dream and be easier to put things on pause for a bit.  

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Move. Transfer to another school once you get settled in your new place. And if you don't move, transfer (or quit) anyway. Your school sucks and is not going to get better.

No comment on the marriage part of all this since I am a spinster.

Don't worry so much about what your major is called as long as you can take the classes you want. Especially if what you want is a really small niche, which it clearly is. Officially, my degrees are in biology (undergrad) and biological sciences (grad), which are both so broad they might was well be in "science". Unofficially, I specialized in zoology and evolutionary ecology, respectively. Undergrad was unplanned--I actually started in (chemical) engineering, only to discover that I hated it, and switched to biology for no real reason, then ended up taking all of the zoology classes and none of the other non-required bio classes. I'd never have found the right place for me in grad school if I insisted on a program in evolutionary ecology. Instead, I found one guy at a large university to be my adviser.

You're falling victim to the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you've put so much in to this school, this program, this degree that quitting seems like a failure and a waste. I get it. At some point in grad school I didn't want to do it anymore, but I was so close to finishing the doctorate I had always wanted, that I had literally (yes, literally) shed blood, sweat, and tears for, that I stuck it out. Sure, doing so meant I nearly had a total breakdown and had to move in with my parents despite being nearly 40, but I got the damn degree. Was it worth it? I dunno. I have yet to use it for anything (what the hell is a "career"?). I did manage to get out of my parents' house at least.

You're also dealing with expectations of how your life "should" be, both your own and societal, plus understandably wanting to rebel against the Fundieness you were raised in. Get married by age X. Get a Bachelor's degree by age Y. Get a big-girl Career immediately afterward. And so on. But really, it's OK to do those things later--or not at all. You're only 30. Still a baby. I'm old enough to be your mother and still haven't gotten the life I thought I would. I've accepted that I never will.

Things like this always remind me of an old Denis Leary routine: ""I'm just not happy, I'm just not happy. I'm just not happy because my life didn't turn out the way I thought it would." Hey, join the fucking club! I thought I was going to be the starting center fielder for the Boston Red Sox. Life sucks, get a fucking helmet! Alright?"

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all so much for your well-thought out advice! I cannot accurately convey how much I appreciate this! I've talked to my fiancé about it and he's 100% supportive, even in the case that we don't move. I'm going to call my target university this week and see how to proceed forward. 

You guys are right...I have this one life and if I'm going to spend so much time/effort/money getting a degree, it should be exactly what I want. Everything that comes after is too far into the future to worry about now, and I have to trust that no matter what comes, I'll be able to find a way to be happy with what the random universe throws at me!

@K'Z'K @Sarcastically spinster @Jigsaw3 @Smash!

Edited by meep
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