It's not always easy to tell when or why a change can be the right choice for you, especially when you are learning to navigate a new environment and (presumably) living on your own for the first time. But, it's important to notice the signs, even more so when they may be emotions, feelings, and behaviors that you're attributing to something else.
1. You can't get used to the weather/location of your university.
Even though I am an in-state student, the freezing weather I experienced during my first semester there was unlike anything I'd ever felt before. Some people may prefer cold weather over hot weather, as well as big cities rather than a small town feel. It took me going away from home, which is located in a big city, to realize I am happier in a city where there's a lot to do versus a small town.
2. Your weekends are constantly boring and uneventful.
Most people go through the freshmen blues, but when you're constantly staying inside and moping in your dorm when you should be having the time of your life – there might be a problem. Personally, it didn't take me long to realize there was going to be no improvement in what I was going through. The freezing weather and the small town feel that is characteristic of my university simply isn't a good fit for me (these are the two main reasons my weekends are boring and uneventful).
3. You see no improvement in your initial feelings, or you see a drastic change in them.
When I arrived to my university, I felt extremely excited but there was also an overwhelming feeling that it wasn't the right place for me. If your feelings about where you go to school are negative to begin with and don't improve, or if they drastically change from good to bad – take it as a major sign.
4. You're feeling mentally and emotionally unstable.
Some people might attribute instability to a number of things, and being in college with so many stress factors it should come as no surprise. But, critical thinking is important and so is reading between the lines. I overwhelmed myself with clubs, volunteering, a job on campus and a heavy course load to overshadow my unhappiness and eventually attributed my growing unhappiness to the latter for all the wrong reasons.
5. You feel jealous every time you see your friends posting about how good of a time they're having at their college.
Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but sometimes it can be a red flag for a bigger problem you're facing. If you're jealous of your friends' college experience and it seems like they're having a much better time than you... then they probably are. College is all about living it up and enjoying yourself while pursuing an overarching goal. Feeling happy and having a good time is a key component of that. Don't undermine your emotions.
6. You're not working your hardest.
So maybe you've been putting off that paper for weeks, even months and now it's due tomorrow. Or maybe you're doing a half-assed job at where you work and you've given up by slowly missing class more and more. If you can't pinpoint exactly what it is that's killing your motivation, maybe there's a bigger problem to address. I know my unhappiness at my university can severely affect my motivation even on my best days.
7. Your friends and family can tell something is wrong.
Everyone I talked to knew it was unlike me to stay in on weekends or avoid all human contact when I wasn't in class. Spending excessive amounts of time at the library (it became my second home) and overeating unhealthy dining hall food (also unlike my healthy-oriented self) became ways to shield myself from accepting a very real problem: I was unhappy.