I'm in something of a situation here, and I was hoping that you guys could help me out. I'm twenty years old and a junior (I certainly hope I'm a junior, anyway...) at Rhode Island College, majoring in English. I've had something of a roundabout college career; I'm from New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina hit three days into my freshman year of college. For my own sanity (I started having horrible panic attacks after the storm) I decided I NEEDED to transfer out of LSU. Essentially, I chose the school that I went to by UPS; my parents were significantly financially impacted by the storm and I applied to pretty much everywhere I could find in areas I was interested in that cost less than $20,000/year, literally picking the first one that sent me an acceptance letter. As you can imagine, this was really not the best way to pick a school; I'm miserable here and completely unchallenged, the academics are subpar (my GPA is in the toilet because I have a distinct tendency to do poorly in classes that don't challenge me), the student body is (with a few exceptions) lazy, unmotivated and not interested in learning at all, and the campus is a maddeningly ugly cement block.
My request for you guys is to recommend to me (and tell me a bit about!) schools that you think I would be interested in. Tuition isn't an issue anymore, as I'm prepared to take out loans. RIC was miserably cheap and the loans worth my sanity and a diploma I'm proud of.
-Solid English program- a traditional liberal arts school.
-Located in at least a small city/significantly large town, preferably on the East Coast (ironically, I love New England!); I have my car so it doesn't have to be NYC or anything, but I'd like there to be at least some kind of nightlife. Reasonable proximity to a larger city would be a HUGE bonus as well.
-Pretty campus. This matters entirely more to me than it should.
-A sense of community- RIC is mostly a commuter school, and it's been miserable making friends.
-Neither massively huge nor claustrophobically small.
-A literary magazine program would be great (it's what I want to do for a living) but not a dealbreaker.
-Basically, an atmosphere that fosters learning- speakers, academic opportunities, the whole shebang. I've been through two diploma mills and been frustrated by both; I'd love to get an actual education. I am a New Orleans girl and I do love a party (going home for Mardi Gras? I think yes), but I'm serious about my academics as well. A balance of the two would be ideal.
Old-school SAT: Math 600, verbal 750
ACT: 29 composite (I have absolutely no idea how to get this score, considering I took the test in, what, March of 2005?)
AP: 5 on English III exam, 4 on English IV
GPA (high school): a disgusting 3.2 (granted, from a magnet school where the lowest level course one could take was honors, but still).
GPA (college): an even more disgusting 3.3. This is absolutely humiliating, considering the freaking travesty of a college I attend, and will probably keep me out of the schools I would prefer to go to (given that going to an actually challenging school would almost certainly cause my GPA to skyrocket).
A few extracurriculars- VP of the Creative Writing club at my school, State Literary Rally competition, co-editor of the Columbia Crown-winning literary magazine, etc.
University of Texas - Austin
UMass - Amherst
University of Georgia - Athens
Brandeis (DOUBLE HAH.)
University of Rhode Island
Roger Williams University
I'm pretty much the textbook definition of a motivated student. I read (I do most of the readings assigned for my English classes for pleasure!), I work hard, I love school and I'm genuinely passionate about learning and the study of English. My school isn't giving me the opportunities I need to grow academically and personally; can you guys help me out with some suggestions for the fit for me? Thanks so much in advance!
(Crossposted to transferstudent, college_help, english_majors and undergraduates.)