Column by Molly Longman
There’s a huge hype about going to a big university among today’s college-goers , and anyone can see the appeal.
Enormous crowds for football games, with parking lots full of tailgaters stretching for miles — you see a new face everyday due to the colossal student population — and let’s face it, bigger school equals bigger parties. But in the larger (or smaller) scheme of things, is a bigger school always the best option?
While smaller schools may not have size going for them, there are still tons of advantages they have to offer.
For example, smaller class sizes make it easier to participate in discussion and ask questions. It’s easy to get swallowed up and just be another nameless face in a lecture hall of 500 kids, but in smaller school, it’s possible to create relationships and collaborate with professors.
Another reason to go for “small but mighty” when you’re choosing a college is there will always be a friendly face. Walking to class passing by strangers every day can give students “alone in a crowded room” syndrome faster than you’d think.
At small schools, the sense of community is incredible. I’m a first-year student here at Drake University, and I don’t go anywhere on campus without saying “hi” to someone I know. This is why I’ll never understand it when people complain about the lack of social life on a small campus.
I’ve been here a month, and I already know probably half the campus and have yet to have a dull moment.
Some may venture that the downside to going to a small university might be the lack of school spirit. Attending a Drake football game and an Iowa State football game are two very different things.
But school spirit is up to the students. If you want to go to a football game where the stadium’s packed, it starts with you. Be present. Bring your friends. Start a cheer. If every student attended every home football game, the stadium would be packed, creating an atmosphere similar to a larger school. This applies to all sports. Get out there, and support your student-athletes.
I came from a tiny town in Iowa. Our town has a rodeo, about 1,100 people, two bars, a football field and not much else. So, I know all about the pros and cons of a small school. While our high school of 100 certainly didn’t have an advantage with numbers, we had the most school spirit
Our conference and our sporting events were a blast, simply because the whole community — every student, parent and neighbor — came to support the athletes every game. You don’t need to have 30,000 students to have school spirit. After all, “It’s not about the size of the wave, it’s about the motion in the ocean.”
Your time at college is what you make it, so get involved, attend all the events you can and make the most of your college career. Whether you’re a big fish in a little pond or the small fish in a big one, you’ll decide if you succeed.
Longman is a first-year open journalsim major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org