Small or Large – Which Campus Size is Right for You?
Did you grow up your entire life with the same twenty kids you graduated high school with? Or did you feel lost in the crowd at your large school with hundreds of other faces roaming the halls? You might not have gotten to choose the size of your high school, but you certainly have a choice when it comes to college. Will you choose a small or large campus? Here are some things to consider when deciding which is right for you.
The size of your campus is going to determine the size of your classes. Especially when it comes to general education classes, you should consider whether or not you want a smaller, more interactive classroom, or a larger, lecture-style classroom. In general, educators believe that smaller class sizes are better for learning. But in most colleges, class sizes will decrease as you advance within your major.
When you have smaller class sizes, you are more likely to get to know your professor. In a large class, you might be just another face in the crowd, and it will require more effort on your part to develop a relationship. And of course, getting to know your professors can help you a lot when you’re looking for a letter of recommendation, or even a job. Well-known and widely respected professors teach at all types of schools, but larger schools obviously have more professors to choose from.
At a large school, you’ll have more options when it comes to extracurricular activities. There will be a lot more choices, and you’re more likely to find a group that suits whatever particular niche you’re interested in. On the other hand, there are often many more group members in the most popular groups. If you hope to be a high-ranking member of a group, it will be easier for you to stand out at a smaller school. And if you can’t find a group you like there, you can always try to start one.
The bigger your campus is, the less likely you’ll be to always run into the same people. It won’t be until you really get into your major that you start seeing the same people regularly, but even then you might never run out of new people to meet. It’s easy to blend in at a large school, and you can find a very diverse selection of friends. At a smaller school, everyone stands out a lot more easily. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of everyone knowing each other, it might not be your ideal atmosphere.
Smaller schools often have fewer resources than larger schools, like smaller libraries and fewer computers. Larger schools often have more resources available for your academic and career needs and interests. This isn’t always the case, however, as some small schools are very rich in resources. Often times smaller schools tend to have narrower focuses, so if you are interested in a particular subject, a smaller school that specializes in it may have more resources for you than a larger one that accommodates a wider selection of majors and concentrations.
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and published author who loves to give incoming college students advice on anything from homework to usingÃ‚Â grammar checker‘s.
Photo Credit:Ã‚Â anneohirsch