A Mid-Sized School Was The Right Fit For Me, And It Could Be The Right Fit For You Too

A Mid-Sized School Was The Right Fit For Me, And It Could Be The Right Fit For You Too

Not too big, not too small, and just right for me.

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When I was looking for colleges three years ago, I had very little idea of what I wanted. I was the oldest (and therefore first) in my family to go to college in this new generation, so I didn't have any older siblings or cousins to look to for advice on the 2000s college experience. I also had the minor problem of hating the "college visit" experience. I was never a fan of the overly-peppy tour guides, the staged presentation of the university, and the long presentations about financial aid, student life, academics, and more.

Couple that with the fact that I was looking for colleges in the Midwest – which meant that it was almost always too hot, too cold, or too rainy to be outside taking a tour- and I was definitely NOT a fan. To try to cut down on the number of visits in light of having no idea of what I want, my family and I decided the best course of action was to look at schools of three different sizes first and then pick a school in that size range that I was interested in based on distance, academics, and/or student life.

And thus my college visit plan was laid out by the beginning of my junior year of high school. (Hard to imagine that it was already four years ago!) I knew fairly quickly just from reading that I didn't want a really small school so that limited me to either mid-sized or big schools. The first middle-sized school I looked at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Wonderful school, but a little too close to home. I wanted the college experience of living on my own, but I couldn't economically rationalize paying for a dorm room when I technically drove a farther distance to my high school than I would have been driving to Bradley. I did, however, like the size of a mid-sized school and kept looking at similar institutions.

I also, per my parents' request, looked at larger schools. I took a tour of their alma mater, the University of Illinois, and I was certain about 15 minutes into the tour of the campus that this wasn't for me. This is nothing against the school itself; in fact, I had been visiting the U of I since I was a kid as my family made return trips for athletic events. (Yes, I was at the Wake Forest game in '05 season.) But regardless of how great those experiences had been, I couldn't wrap my head around the vast size of the school itself. I was used to a smaller grade school and high school environment, and the sheer number of people I saw walking around that day was too much for me to feel comfortable. It didn't feel personalized, and I didn't want to get lost in the sea of people. My brother goes to the U of I now and loves his experience there so far. So it is the best choice for some people, but it definitely wasn't for me.

So now that I had the mid-sized school decided upon, but ruled out the one closest to home, I started looking outwards from Illinois. After visiting a few different campuses, I settled on Butler University, a manageable 3-hour drive to Indianapolis. I couldn't be happier with this decision and wouldn't change it for the world. I love the personal atmosphere- the relationships I form with the professors and the fact that they actually know my name. I like the open atmosphere in the classrooms and the freedom to share my opinions without feeling like I am addressing (or actually addressing) an auditorium full of people. I like being able to walk from class to class and recognize and talk with the people I see. And I love that while Butler is able to have some of the big-school amenities (like an amazing basketball team to watch every year), it maintains a feeling of home that I don't think I would find at a larger school.

Like I said earlier, different size schools and better for different people. Some people like the anonymity, while others like attention. Some people prefer something in between. I would say, however, that a mid-sized school has a perfect balance of each, and I would highly encourage anyone struggling through the college selection process to give a mid-sized school a chance.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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6 Things Marketing Majors Know To Be True

You might think marketing majors are just a bunch of creatives who don't know what they want to do with their lives, but you're wrong.

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Yes, we're creative, and we also know what we want to do when we "grow up". Marketing is a practice that is so essential to the operation of every organization. Whether that organization is selling a product, or seeking support, marketing is just the tool to make that happen. I think a lot of times, the purpose of marketing is misunderstood, and many are misinformed about what it really is. As a marketing major, this can be a bit frustrating. People studying marketing are the future of many of these organizations. Here are just a few things that are true for many marketing majors.

1. *Watches a movie/TV show* "product placement...product placement...product. placement."

Once you've learned the concept of product placement, your experience while watching anything is changed forever. You'll begin to notice it every single time, while thinking to yourself, "you can't fool me".

2. You're constantly critiquing ads.

Once you've taken a class in advertising, you suddenly feel like you have all the answers to what makes a "good" advertisement. Whether this is true or not, we often find ourselves critiquing different advertisements we see, either out loud or just simply in our heads. For this reason, we really don't mind commercials all that much.

3. When you tell people your major they say: "so you just wanna sell people stuff?"

No. If you really want to annoy someone studying marketing, try asking them something along these lines. It's basically like asking an engineer if they just want to build stuff. There is a distinction between sales and marketing. Marketing is essential in generating sales, but it is not the same thing.

4. You roll your eyes at the fact that everyone thinks they can go into marketing.

A lot of people with degrees in who knows what often say: "I'll just get a job in marketing". With the large need for marketing professionals, there are many jobs available, but good marketing really does take training and education. It's the strategy that leads to the success of a good marketing campaign, so it is a little frustrating when people think marketing is so easy.

You don't understand why you need so much math.

Coming from Clemson, I had to take SO MUCH math. Everything from statistics, to marketing research (which makes sense), to accounting and finance. While this may not apply to those who want to go into the research side of things, us creatives are just perplexed by it. We don't feel the need to keep taking math related courses. Don't get me wrong, I do see the value in (some of) them now, but in the moment, I was miserable.

6. You're a creative.

A lot of people who desire to go into marketing are creative types who just want to apply that creativity to their future career. Creatives can be more than artists; we have the ability to contribute great things to organizations, and it is often through marketing that we can do so.

When you're a marketing major, there are just some things you become extremely aware of, and you start to see the world through a different lens. Say what you want about people studying marketing, but it is essential to all organizations, and not just anyone can do it.

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