One-size-fits-all: not a phrase to describe college student bodies. Everyone has a different preference when it comes to the size of the school they plan on attending. It is one of the pivotal factors to the college decision. There are a lot of assumptions made about what a small school does for you and what a big school has to offer differently – and of course, let us not forget about the medium-sized school. However, even if you decide on a student body that is somewhere in between small and large, its numbers and culture are most likely going to make it lean more in the direction of one category or the other. Both small and large schools have very defined cultures that are shaped due to their respective sizes and every student should be fully aware of what those cultures are before making a decision. Here is some great information on large schools vs. small schools that you may want to check out.
As discussed before in regards to small schools, there is a clear difference between liking the idea of a certain type of school and actually liking the school itself. Rather than just taking obvious concepts and blowing them out of proportion to fit the dream school you are picturing, you should identify a few specific things about yourself that will help indicate what type of school you are ready for. If you already went through that list in reference to small schools and figured out that it isn’t the path for you, try out the evaluation for big schools. You might find that this is the kind of college experience you are not only looking for, but pretty naturally prepared for. You may want to check out these reasons to attend a small school as well.
A large school is more than just huge crowds and a well-known reputation. Find out if you would fit the mold of this of eclectic atmosphere by determining if the following descriptions apply to you.
You Like to Try New Things: Academically, socially, culturally – if you enjoy expanding your horizons, a big campus will suit you well. A bigger school means more opportunity and more space to showcase those opportunities. Large events will be held throughout campus more frequently with interesting educational presentations, visiting concerts and comedy tours by big names, club and job fairs, and various social/mingling events. Additionally, being on a big campus means you have the chance to explore a wider span of ethnic restaurants, unique entertainment venues, and other intriguing establishments in the extensive downtown area. Moreover, you will have more classes to choose from in your field of study as well as a lot more options when it comes to study resources and other creative ways of exploring that academic path you’re on. A larger faculty to reach out to doesn’t hurt either.
You Love Meeting New People: Although most students enjoy this and it is certainly something you can carry through at a smaller school, a big campus is just a little more appropriate for those who really enjoy it. Making new acquaintances is a bit more exciting at a large school because there are just so many people to meet. More importantly, you can pretty much be guaranteed that there will always be more new people for you to come across even after the meeting the core of your class during that first year. Joining more clubs and attending more events will certainly make this more likely, but the comforting thing about being at a large school is that you have that easy chance of meeting new people every single day just by walking to class. You will constantly have the opportunity to make new connections without even trying.
You Get Bored Easily: Although similar to “liking to try new things,” this is in reference to someone who just hates feeling restricted to one place or one path. Small schools tend to offer you one, simple world to be a part of, which can be great. However, if you like to mix it up once in awhile and feel you need to escape certain areas of campus every now and then, you’re going to feel more at ease at a big school. When it’s so easy to check out a different spot of campus or learn about a new student organization, you’ll never feel at a loss for direction. Many smaller schools leave you feeling like you’ve seen it all after your first year – a larger school will keep you guessing.
You’re Passionate About Sporting Events: Many students choose to go to a big school because they are huge fans of its football team. Perhaps they grew up watching them or have always had their hearts set on attending a school in that particular conference. Medium to large schools are more often going to be the ones with a popular football team, giving them an attractive edge in some students’ eyes over the quintessential small school. Even if the large school does not have a football team, however, its sports teams that are considered to be major are going to have quite the exciting following. Small schools certainly show pride and buzzing support for their teams as well, but the electrifying atmosphere of giant stadiums, tailgates, and towns decked out in those school colors exhibit something truly special and different. A college decision should not made on sports alone, but if you are in fact a sports fanatic and love showing outward spirit for your team, you are bound to enjoy those perks of a large school. Anything that makes you more passionate about your school and happy to be there is certainly a positive factor to think about.
The majority of appeal in a big school lies in the seemingly endless number of options. A student who simply wants more and gets excited by the idea of being a part of something huge would likely be very happy on such a campus. And remember – large schools are not just for extroverted, outgoing people. Shy students can be just as happy in this environment as long as they are ready for those sometimes overwhelming elements that set it apart. Make your decision accordingly and enjoy the search! You may also want to check out these tips on how to prepare for the college search as well!