Hello Little Liberal Arts School,
It’s me. You know, one of the thousands of students who walks across your campus most of the year? As I am writing you this letter, I know that many younger students who are still in high school are struggling with their college decisions. There are a few hundred prospective students coming to visit you this week alone. I’ve been thinking a lot about when I was choosing which school I wanted to attend. I always said I wanted to go to a small school, but you have exceeded all of my expectations.
So, Little Liberal Arts School that I love, I thought I ought to tell you why I appreciate you so much. I want to let you know what you mean to me because I don't think I've ever told you.
When I tell people where I go to school, they joke about you being in the middle of nowhere. “Are you surrounded by cornfields?” they ask. “Are you ever bored?” I don’t know how to explain to them how I have formed my own culture here. How this little liberal arts school binds together a group of a few thousand people from a variety of backgrounds. I don’t know how to tell them that I choose you because of the people on this campus.
When I was a prospective student visiting your campus, I got lost on my way to visit a class. I sat down on a bench, and I must have looked upset because an older student approached me with a kind smile. "Hi," she said, "are you a visitor? Do you know where you're going?"
I had no idea who she was, and she went out of her way to help me. Those are the kind of people I encounter on your campus, Little Liberal Arts School. People who are kind and generous.
Your student body is small. More likely than not, I see people I know every single time I step out of a building or am walking to class. Some may find this disconcerting. I find it comforting. I have found that generally speaking, the people on your campus, on our campus, have a persistent desire to be kind. The people here choose this place because they fell in love with it and they love to learn. Coming to a little liberal arts schools means, at least in my experience, that you are committed to broadening your perspective. We are here because want to make a difference in the world. We want to learn as much as we can in as many areas as we can.
Have I mentioned, Little Liberal Arts School, how impressed I am by the faculty and the staff on your campus? Your student body may be one of the kindest and the most interesting group of humans I have ever encountered, but I think it is also worth complimenting the adults who educate and take care of the students on your campus. It is a general staple of a liberal arts colleges that the professors are on campus to focus on teaching, and that has certainly been my experience. The professors on this campus are incredibly kind, engaging, and passionate about the subjects they teach. They truly care about their students. Here, you foster a caring community of humans who truly want to help each other succeed in the world, and I think that is nothing short of incredible.
I love you, Little Liberal Arts School.
I appreciate all your quirks. I love your old buildings that look like castles, your odd traditions, and your complete embrace of expanding human knowledge and furthering the education of students. You are the comfort of a late night in the library, a passing smile on the street, an incredible discussion in a classroom of fewer than thirty students. You are teaching me to take charge of my education and explore new things.
Thank you. You make me feel like a human and not just a number in a mess of bodies within a large university. I know that some people truly enjoy the large university experience and that those schools are right for them, but for me, there has always just been you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A Liberal Arts Student