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.