Some students may wonder whether attending a small college will cause you to miss out on part of the college experience. Fortunately, for the vast majority of students, the answer is no. The following analysis outlines the similarities and differences in the college experience between a larger and smaller educational institution.
Small Colleges Offer Much The Same As Large Colleges
The fact of the matter is, small colleges offer much of the same experiences that larger colleges do. Small colleges have fraternities and sororities. They have parties. They have social mixers. They have career preparation programs and support. Smaller colleges also have a variety of robust student organizations from which to choose. Although smaller colleges do not often attract the same prestige of cultural events that larger institutions do, small colleges still have their fair share of theater performances, art exhibitions, musical performances, poetry readings and more.
Advantages To A Small College
For any students wondering whether attending a small college will cause you to miss out on part of the college experience, it is also important to remember many of the potential advantages of going to a small college. At smaller colleges, students are given more personal attention and have smaller class sizes. They tend to afford more opportunities to forge personal relationships with their professors, which can lead to stronger references down the road. They often have more opportunities for leadership roles in student organizations, which looks great on a resume and provides valuable experience. It is also less likely that students will be shut out of classes they want to take due to those classes being filled to capacity.
College Experiences That Aren’t The Same On Small Campuses
Smaller colleges are more likely to require students to live on campus or in campus housing, especially during the first year. This can be undesirable for students who wish to live at home or at a private apartment, although living in student housing can positively impact the student experience in ways other housing arrangements cannot. There are also going to be fewer students overall at a smaller university. However, the student body makeup drastically differs from college to college. Some small colleges might essentially have a microcosm of the same student bodies larger universities have, while others attract specific kinds of students, whether from a particular religion or social view.
Of course, much of what a student gets out of the college experience depends on the student themselves. Going to college and being on one’s own for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone. But as the Huffington Post demonstrates, it is important for students to overcome that fear and put themselves out there. Students should take opportunities to meet other students, participate in student organizations, date and overall find ways of their own to get the most out of their college experience. Students who simply stay in their dorm rooms all the time while not in class will have the same college experience regardless of whether they go to a large or small school.
The college experience is going to be different for each student. Personal preferences should also play a significant role in choosing the college a student would like to attend. However, on the question of whether attending a small college will cause you to miss out on part of the college experience, the answer is almost always no.