The 5 Best Things About Going To A Small College

The 5 Best Things About Going To A Small College

Where everybody knows your name.
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Many times, when I tell someone where I go to school, one of the first questions they ask me is if I like going to a small college, and wonder why I did not choose to go to a big university. In reality, one of the biggest reasons I chose to go to St. Thomas Aquinas College was because of its size. While I absolutely do not think that going to a big university is a bad choice, I just knew it was not for me. Now, having just started my sophomore year at STAC, I know that going to a small college was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself, and I see the benefits of it more and more everyday. Here are the five best things about going to a small college:

1) Everyone knows each other around campus.

Whether it is a classmate, professor, dean, or president of the college, you know nearly everyone you see around campus— and almost everyone knows you. While some people may not like this, I think it helps you to feel so much more comfortable in your surroundings. Even just a quick hello in the hallway, in class, in the library, or when you are grabbing lunch, could make your day so much better.

2) You are able to take advantage of tons of off-campus trips.

While they have off-campus trips at big universities, the ones at small schools are usually cheaper (sometimes even completely free), and there is a greater chance you will be able to go on them since there is less competition for spots. In addition, many classes themselves are able to take trips. For example, a writing class might take a trip to a publishing company, or a science class might take trip to a lab, which are opportunities you may not have access to at larger schools due to bigger class sizes.

3) It is much easier for you to get involved on campus.

When you go to school with thousands of other students, it could be harder for you to be able to get involved on campus. Just like with off campus trips, not only will the fight for positions in clubs and activities be considerably more competitive, but the amount of people that join these clubs and activities will be much larger, and you might end up feeling like you are really not even apart of the them at all. At a small school, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in just about anything, and you will get to know every person that is in any of the same clubs and activities as you.

4) Class sizes are small.

At my school, the average student to teacher ratio is eighteen to one. Not only is this beneficial because the teacher gets to know you personally, but you also get to know the names of everyone else in your classes. Oftentimes, when you are surrounded by at least a hundred other people, none of whom you really know, it might be more difficult for you to take part in class. In a smaller setting, however, chances are you will be more willing to ask and/or answer questions, in addition to just taking a greater roll in participating in class in general.

5) You feel like you are part of a family.

In all of these points, the one common factor is that your school becomes a tight-knit community. You are always surrounded by familiar faces, and can go to just about anyone on campus if you ever need help with anything. There are so many ways to get involved, and there is always something to do. At a small school, you are more than just another student— you truly feel like you are part of a family.

Cover Image Credit: St. Thomas Aquinas College

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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