I am tired of my school and want to go to a different one. The school is in another state and my cousin goes to it. I was thinking about going for the 1st semester and then going back to my school, but that would mean giving up cheer and leaving my boyfriend for 9 weeks. I have no clue which would be more beneficial... staying or going. Any input?

Answers

Nedda Gilbert, MSW, Educational Consultant, and Author

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I agree with the answer provided by the Noodle employee above. My additional two cents would be this: I'm pretty sure that your statement of "I am tired of my school" is code for something else. You need to identify what that is for yourself or you may repeat the same experience or have the same issue at the new school. There is that saying, your problems travel with you. Or likewise- you take yourself with you wherever you go. It's important to understand why you want to leave the current school. Understanding WHY you want to leave will help you clarify what you are looking for in the new place.

Of course, a new school does offer a fresh start. Is this what you hope for? Again, why? Or perhaps the new school offers a different and better environment for you. If you think this is the case, before switching to the new school, make sure you have done your research and truly understand the culture of the other school. Is it truly right for you?

Leaving a problem behind can seem like a good fix. But doing this by switching schools is complicated and risky. As the Noodle employee stated above, you can't just decide to matriculate at any public school you like. Typically, you must prove residency and live in the district. You could try to sneak in and use your cousin's address as your own. Many a student tries this and is often found out. It won't be pleasant. Likewise, choosing and applying to a private school is a formal and lengthy process - you can't just jump in for a semester or two. You have to apply - be accepted - pay, etc. Private school is not the place for a try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it semester.

Of greater concern is that you would be giving up the sport of cheer. If this was a permanent move and you knew it was likely the new school would offer you what you want/needed, perhaps this would be a reasonable trade-off. But it seems a big risk to take, and an awful lot to forgo, just to "try" out a new school. If you return to the original school, you now return to one less support system or enjoyable activity (btw, I am assuming you are in junior high or high school with a boyfriend and cheer.)

Finally, it's important your high school years and transcript reflect as steady a four years as possible. If you plan on applying to college, you will have to explain why you went to that new school, or switched back again. Depending on your reasons, this may hurt you when you apply to college. High school can be a very challenging time. Even a difficult time. Before switching schools, or temporarily attending another, try speaking to a concerned adult or your guidance counselor about what's going. There may be other options for you to pursue - like even taking some local community college classes for high school credit. I hope the above helps you explore a range of options. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Michael Schoch, Noodle employee

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That sounds like a really difficult decision to make. Of course, you will ultimately have to determine what is best for you considering your personal circumstances. That said, maybe I can offer some other factors to think about.

First, consider why you want to go to a different school. You mentioned being involved in cheerleading and having a boyfriend. Do you have other commitments at your school? Are you thriving there academically? If you are doing well academically and have social obligations in the area you may want to consider whether transferring will be in your best interests as a student.

You will also want to consider whether the school to which you want to transfer is public or private. Public schools often only admit students who are residents of the district, or students who have applied for open enrollment. If your new school doesn't offer these options you may not be able to attend unless you move to the area. If the school is private, you will have to either pay tuition or find financial aid.

In your case, it sounds like transferring for one semester only to transfer back the next would be fairly time consuming and tedious. You'll also want to keep in mind that some schools have set registration periods and if you don't apply for a transfer within those periods, the process can be extended.

None of this is to discourage you from changing schools. If your current school isn't meeting your needs I would recommend talking to your parents/guardians, guidance counselor, teachers, or even your principal to see what can be arranged. I'd also recommend speaking with your parents or guardians about what tuition costs and living arrangements are feasible.

Lastly, you can find some great advice on Noodle's Finding a High School page, or you can search for other schools near you on Noodle's search engine.

I know that isn't a definitive answer, but I hope it helps out a little bit. Feel free to ask a follow up if you'd like more specific information about schools near you!

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