I'm probably not the best person to ask for advice. Much to my regret, my
daughter is not too happy at college, and she is looking to transfer....
I am happy with the college because it's paid for for 4 years, it's close,
and the classes are small. It has a good science department, which she
needs. We visited several different schools -- even had better offers --
but ruled them out because of the distance from home, etc.
I guess the first thing you need to get your daughter to do is decide how
far she wants to go away from home, what class size is in her best
interest -- I had huge classes and regret it, but I don't think I was as self
motivated as my daughter -- and, of course, money counts!
Make sure she watches the team play. Pay attention to who the coach
plays -- upperclassmen or best players. Ask the coach how the team is
going to do over the next four years. Who is he losing? What position does
he want her to play? Who else in that position will she have to beat out
for playing time -- senior or freshman?
Try to get the coach to commit to amount of playing time she'll get. We
were told she would play a lot and probably start. Neither happened. He's
a foreigner and played all the foreign students -- even if they sucked --
which totally surprised us.
Make sure she talks with players. Find out whose happy and why. Find out
whose unhappy and why. Ask players what they would change about the
team. Ask what they think their strengths are and weaknesses. Don't just
ask the player they assign to you -- this one is recruiting and will say
what you want to hear. Ask how the team gets along.
For each of these questions, we found out the hard way. It never occurred
to us to ask these questions. The team was divided. The foreign players
stuck together and didn't mingle with others. My daughter said it doesn't
feel like a team. They were also cut-throat. Maybe this is something we
should have expected. We didn't realize that at this level you compete for
playing time which can boil down to money. It was a rude awakening for
Ask how the team gets to games. They stuff the whole team plus gear into
a 12 passenger van. Ask them what the food allowance is for out of town
games. My daughter gets $5. They wanted the girls to pay for warm-ups,
but they refused.
Find out if the campus and community support soccer. Very few students
went to my daughter's games. Not a lot of fun or very motivating if the
school doesn't care. Big on football at her college -- been there, done
that, sick of that.
Well, those are a few of the things I wish we had known. Not sure what
she will decide. In a way, I wish she would stay another year and give this
coach another chance. That's the biggest problem -- he let her down big
If I were you, I'd call some of the parents of the players. I wish I had now.
I hope this helps some. This is such a mess. It's hard for me to think
about throwing away 4 years of free school JUST for happiness. There are
no guarantees at another school.