Every time I return home for a break, I spend a lot of time time with friends who go to larger colleges. Visiting their expansive, sprawling campuses always makes me long for a busy college in the city, but here I am, still attending a college only slightly larger than my high school set in a rather small town compared to where I come from. I’ve found myself questioning my choice to attend Lycoming College countless times, but this year in particular has really confirmed in my mind that I’ve made the right choice.
I may not be in the most ideal urban setting and I may not be surrounded by thousands of people I don’t know, but while calling alumni at work today I realized how much I truly love this campus and this school. I think one of the biggest perks of a small school that I often forget is the feeling of being part of not only a community, but a family. Today on the phone at work, an alumnus of Lycoming spent almost half an hour telling me about her experience at the school, her friends’ experiences, and how she fell in love with her husband on this campus. Her story was truly heartwarming, and she spent a lot of time telling me about how much the values of loyalty and trust that Lycoming students are taught benefitted her and her friends in the real world. She went on to describe how being part of the Lycoming family strengthened those values within her and helped her marriage. She, as well as all of her closest friends from school, remain happily married and continuously give back to Lycoming because of how much they believe Lycoming gave to them.
Listening to her go on about the amazing things Lycoming gave her really made me stop and think. Here I am dreaming about going to a large university when here I have professors who care deeply about me, friends that will last a lifetime, sisters who will love and support me no matter what, and familiar faces no matter where I am. When I committed to Lycoming College in April of my senior year of high school, I became a part of something much greater than I knew. I became a part of such a unique family made up of incredibly strong, driven, and inspirational students. Every student on this campus has their own set of strengths and differences. Maybe I don’t know every single person I go to school with, but I definitely have forged connections as strong as I have with the ones I do know because of the values Lycoming teaches.
On top of all of this, Lycoming’s campus has such a warm and inviting atmosphere. Sure it isn’t as urban and modern as somewhere like Penn State, but it has charm ad character, unlike most colleges. A lot of bigger schools definitely feel like you are staying temporarily, but Lycoming has made me feel like I am at home, and regaining the homey feeling I felt when I first walked onto this campus when I visited in high school has been the best thing for me right now.
Lycoming has given me forever friends, a home, and countless opportunities to be the best person I can be, and despite my occasional doubts in my college decision, finding my roots and falling back in love with Lycoming gets even better every time. So if you’re one of those people who might be questioning your choice of a small school while scrolling through your friends’ photos of parties at big universities on Instagram, remember the countless benefits your tiny college has given you, and secretly gloat about never having to sit in a lecture hall with 400 other people for a class.