People have looked down on me for choosing to go to a small school. Asbury, in particular, is often referred to as a "bubble," as somehow completely separate from "real life." I admit, there are some things that bother me about going to a small Christian college, but the reasons that I enjoy it greatly outweigh the former.
Friday morning, for my 8:00 American Lit survey, my professor (also my academic advisor) baked oatmeal cookies and brought them to class and she told us that she completely advocated taking three or four. A different professor and his wife invited my Lit Crit class over to his house for Christmas desserts, and the semester before that he brought amazing brownies to class, and he once taught class outside on the green. My creative writing professor brings candy to class on big days, and she also brought her puppy to class once.
I saw the university's president in the cafeteria yesterday. At the halfway point of the semester, the office manager at the Writing Center brought in a whole array of snacks and sweets to congratulate anybody who stopped by. All the professors pray before class, and many of them take prayer requests. I am currently reading my boss's dissertation because she wanted help making it into an article.
I believe that I am learning so much partly because the professors here are so accessible and so willing to meet any time to discuss anything. They are so happy to teach and to help that I am both happy and inspired to learn.
When I imagined going to college, I always imagined a great big lecture hall full of countless, dozing students, and I imagined the professor would sound kind of far off. Of course, I imagined I would like the bigness and the new information, but my experience so far has been much better than I imagined it would be. And it has been better because I go to a small school. Whatever anybody says, I am really glad I go to a small school, because the primary goal of school is to learn, and this atmosphere is very conducive to that. I know small schools, especially small Christian schools, can have a really bad reputation, but such a quick dismissal of small schools demonstrates a failure to engage the critical thinking that would help reveal how many benefits there are to going to a small school.
Not to say there are no benefits to going to a big school, there definitely are, and it depends on the student, but there are also benefits to going to a small school like Asbury, and just because I chose a small, Christian school does not mean my education is lesser. It's quite the opposite.