Saturday, July 16, 2016

Perks of a Small College

Hi everyone and Happy Saturday!! This was my first full week at my new job and I have been loving every second of it! I will be sharing a life update soon, but I first wanted to share something else I have a passion for ... small colleges!!

You may be thinking to yourself, that's a random passion to have ... but its something that I truly do believe in! Attending a small college or university can give you a ton of great opportunities that you may not think they'd offer .... but don't worry they do. Today I am sharing all of those wonderful aspects of life at a small college that may help you decide to visit or even enroll at one!

First things, something I hear A LOT is this, "well, I go to a large high school now and I just don't think I would do well at a small college," or this, "my school is so small, the last thing I want is to be in high school again." While these may be accurate, you need to think about the scales and ranges of these places. A large high school (in my opinion) is like 300+ students within a grade level. A small college is usually 350-700 students within a year level. So, think, if you're perfect for your environment of 400 students, you would probably be just as perfect for that university with 500 Freshmen.

You may also be thinking, "I want a lot of opportunities for courses and clubs." Believe it or not, the size of college does not impact the number of opportunities for courses or clubs, it is the environment and culture that does that. Do your research because oftentimes smaller colleges will allow you to create a club (and get funding for field trips) if you and your friends can prove that people would want to join it. Your freedom to do this at a large university may be stifled by the number of organizations already present. As for the courses, one thing about liberal arts colleges (which are usually on the smaller size), they have to offer a bunch of varied courses because students need to fulfill distribution requirements that don't overlap, ie: the psychology of dreams, the history of quilting, or the art of fermentation and distillation.

Another perk of attending a small college is that you really get to know your professors because they are the ones who teach. In larger universities, it is oftentimes graduate students or teaching assistants that will teach classes and then the full professor may just pop in every few classes to make sure its going okay. At smaller universities, your professor is who will teach every class for a majority of your courses in that subject matter. Depending on the size and the breadth of the programs offered, this may vary, but you can most certainly be sure that it will be a full professor or an adjunct professor teaching you, not a fellow student. (Students may tutor you, but they won't be up front lecturing about 18th Century France or Osmosis).

You're able to create friend groups that overlap. So with the multitude of opportunities that you get at a small college, also comes the chance to make friends within all of those opportunities. At larger schools, you may feel like you need to stick with your team or your sorority/fraternity in terms of making friends, but at smaller universities you are involved in so many things that you create friendships that way. When I was in college, I had my friends from my French major, from my Admissions jobs, from my Orientation position, and then the random people I met and loved along the way. It is truly amazing to know that you have people you get to spend time with, but don't necessarily have to be around 24/7. Something to think about ...

Some small colleges offer three semesters, as opposed to two, which gives students and faculty the chance to travel for a shorter semester. Now this will differ depending on the college, but that shorter semester gives you the chance to take a class off campus and experience a new culture, without you having to miss a ton of classes for your major! Also, because you've already paid all of your tuition leading up to the travel trip, you will only have a smaller fee to actually go on the trip, rather than take a class on campus. The $2,000-3,000 price tag is a lot cheaper for traveling for three to five weeks than if you were to do that by yourself!

You become familiar with college administrators and all of the resources that you are able to use on campus. At a small campus, word about great student jobs, that administrator who is a perfect club advisor, and the secret stash of popsicles the Health Center gives out during Finals Week gets around rather quickly. So, when you really need a helping hand or have a specific question about your major or how you can access the Library Archives, you will know exactly who you need to see to make it happen! Plus, you will create amazing relationships with administrators who will mentor you for longer than just your four years in college!

So, I hope that today's post shows you just how much you can get from a college experience at a small college! Don't let the size fool you to think that a small size means small opportunities, because that is definitly not the case. I had the time of my life in college because I was at a smaller college and I know that my experience would have been very very different if I attended a larger university.

enjoy the chase,

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