College is amazing. Especially if you are able to find a college that you truly love, you will have an amazing four years. I am fortunate enough to be obsessed with my college, and it happens to be a public university in the state I live in. Sometimes these state schools get a bad rap for being too easy and not as "prestigious" as other schools, but I have never regretted a second of my time here. In fact, I get a little defensive when I sense people being negative towards universities like mine. Instead of being negative back, I choose to focus on the positives and all the reasons I love my school. Obviously, I'm partial to the University of Kentucky because that's where I've found my home, but there are so many other schools out there that are just as great. Everyone has their own fit, and here are eleven reasons I love mine!
1. I get to stay in my favorite state
I was born and raised in Kentucky, and even though some people hate this state and can't wait to get out, I love it. Obviously, I wouldn't be opposed to having an internship or starting my career in another state, and I want to see the world, but I will always consider KY as my home base.
2. The opportunities are endless
Being at such a huge school means that many more opportunities. Whether it means having a unique degree in different programs, finding student clubs to get involved with or even just having the ability to study in a million different places on this huge campus, I am constantly presented with amazing opportunities and the resources to fulfill my goals.
3. Networking is never an issue
Going to a big school means there are tons of people who have come before me, resulting in an alumni base that spreads throughout the world. This means that I am able to connect with people in companies I am interested in, or even just discuss career options with alums who had the same major as me. I also get to network with people in the state I want to work in, which gives me a leg up on others who are studying elsewhere.
4.I get a taste of the real world
This is a diverse campus. There are all kinds of students from all different backgrounds, all with different stories, and I love that. There is no certain "type" of person that goes to my college, which is so amazing. Everyone is free to be themselves, and it's so fun to encounter all kinds of diversity at UK.
5. I learn how to work harder
Because I am one of many at such a large university, I have to work harder to stand out from the crowd. I cannot rely on my degree alone. I have to make myself marketable by participating in extracurricular activities, internships, and just getting as involved as possible. The motivation to succeed in my career in the future constantly pushes me to work harder now.
6. Tuition is lower
Because I am from Kentucky, I get to pay in-state tuition. Public universities also tend to offer more scholarships and financial aid, and that is so helpful. College is expensive for everyone, so any extra help here and there is so greatly appreciated because it means I will have less debt to worry about in the future.
7. Sports, sports, sports
Obviously, sports are important at all types of schools, but especially at public universities, and especially when you are from that state. I grew up cheering for the Wildcats, and now I get to be a student and experience the game days in person. I'll get to be a fan for the rest of my life and reminisce on the fun times I had at all the games I attended.
8. I have fairly easy access to my family
Even though I am not in the same city as my family (I needed a little bit of distance), I am only a little over an hour away. This makes it super easy for me to come home on certain weekends, or for my family to come visit every once in a while. I love that I have my life and independence here, but I am still close enough to be comfortable.
9. There is never a dull moment
Similar to the diversity I experience on campus, I feel like there is never a dull moment. Since so many people here are unapologetically themselves, I get to witness all kinds of fun and crazy personalities. Whether it's people skateboarding wherever they can find an open area, or the kid that dances everywhere in Lexington (Tayvho), there's always something to see.
10. I’m always encountering new people
With over 20,000 undergraduate students on campus, it's no wonder I am always seeing new faces. Sure, I recognize and get to see a lot of my friends throughout the day, but most of the time, I'm people watching and seeing tons of people. This makes it easier to make friends and find ways to get involved because there are always new people for you to meet.
11. I get an amazing education
I am super passionate about education. I have loved learning since I was little, and since it is the main reason we are in college, I wanted to make sure I attended a university that valued education as well. UK has some of the best professors, programs, and Honors College around, and there are so many resources to ensure everyone is doing their best. I work just as hard as any of my friends at other schools, and I wouldn't trade my education for the world.