13 Perks To Attending A Small University

13 Perks To Attending A Small University

Woke up fifteen minutes before class starts? No problem.
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Let's admit it, the college search is a long and tedious struggle. Trying to find the best school for you can require thinking about a lot of factors: teacher ratings, dining hall quality, dorm room quality, athletics, student/teacher ratio, and so much more. Often during a college search, size does matter. When the word college comes to mind, the stereotype turns to a huge campus, fraternity parties galore, tailgating, college football games, and lecture halls that can fit over a hundred students.

But what about those smaller, less recognized universities? Often, they are simply overlooked just based on their size. However, over the past year of attending a small town university on the prairie, I find that there are many overlooked benefits that cannot be found on a big college campus.

1. Dining hall lines are unbelievably short


Even when it's the big lunch rush, it never feels like you're waiting in line for hours.

2. Walking distance from your dorm to where-ever

Small college campuses allow you to get up fifteen minutes before your class on the other side of campus and still have time to get ready and make it on time. Definitely comes in handy for people who are not early birds.

3. Smaller classrooms = Closer connections

No need to feel claustrophobic in those huge, crowded lecture halls. Small classes in smaller classrooms give the class a more connected feel with their professor during class as well as their fellow students. This make a difference when talking to your professor about concerns regarding your classes. Less students = more opportunities to get help from your professor.

4. Involvement within the community

There are numerous ways to get involved on a small town campus with the outside community: volunteering at the animal shelter, going to church in town, attending town council meetings, town library book clubs, bingo night; the list is endless!

5. Nature is everywhere, and she's beautiful

When living in a small town in the middle of no-where on the prairie, biking and nature trails are the best way to get away from campus life for a while. It gives you a break to clear your mind from the hectic life of classes and homework while also getting you some fresh air.

6. Everything big community wise happens on-campus

Small towns don't have concert arenas or professional football teams to watch, but the university does. All major events that happen in the town happen on campus and usually students get a discount. Talk about a win for the home team!

7. Hang out spots, diners, coffee shops and restaurants - you know them all!

You know every nook and cranny of your university town as well as the go-to places? Need the lowest gas prices in town? Go to the gas station on Main Street. Need a good cup of coffee and place to do your homework? The coffee shop on the corner by the dollar store has a great Americano along with comfy chairs next to a fireplace. And forget about those chain restaurants, local eat-out spots are one of a kind! A homemade hamburger, fries and chocolate milkshake from a local diner always beats out McDonald's when it comes to that homey feel.

8. Easy and cheap transportation


When living in a small town, you don't have to drive fifteen minutes to go to the grocery store or to your favorite restaurant. Everything is either walking, biking, public commuting or short drive distance away - definitely a money saver on gas.

9. Internship and scholarly research

Can I bring up those professor relationships again? Professors really look for those bonds with their students. Those bonds can later turn into opportunities to work with that professor on internships or scholarly research, which looks really good on your resume.

10. Familiar faces

There comes a point in the semester where you are able to recognize every face you pass by. Whether you've seen them in class, at a club meeting, in a performance or just walking around campus, you feel like you've seen them at least once. Just knowing this makes you feel like you're part of a community.

11. Better chance of getting into college athletics, clubs, or organizations

Although small universities don't have the money to have huge athletic programs or scholarships like many Division I schools, it does provide students interested in sports the chance to participate. Smaller universities are more fluid on who is involved in extracurricular and give every student a chance no matter their experience level!

12. Making it personal with your major

Larger universities are often strict on criteria and classes needed to fulfill a major. Same goes for small universities, but some small universities give students the option to customize their major if they'd like (with the approval of the academic board), giving them a more hands-on control of their major.

13. You become more than just a number


To small universities, it's the person that lies behind the GPA that matters. Their mission is to to connect with each and every one of their students on a personal level in order to help them succeed. College is certainly the time to become your own person, and having a university that recognizes you individuality truly helps you along on your journey through college and beyond.

Cover Image Credit: University of Minnesota Morris News

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19 Things About Being a Nursing Major As Told By Michael Scott

Michael just gets it.
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If you're a nursing major, you relate to the following 19 things all too well. Between your clinical encounters and constant studying, you can't help but wonder if anyone else outside of your major understands the daily struggles you face in nursing school. And even though being the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc. isn't the same as being a nursing major, Michael Scott does a pretty accurate job of describing what it's like.

1. When your professor overloads your brain with information on the first day of class.

2. Realizing that all your time will now be spent studying in the library.

3. Being jealous of your friends with non-science majors, but then remembering that your job security/availability after graduation makes the stress a little more bearable.

4. Having to accept the harsh reality that your days of making A's on every assignment are now over.

5. When you're asked to share your answer and why you chose it with the whole class.

6. Forgetting one item in a "select all that apply" question, therefore losing all of its points.

7. When you're giving an IV for the first time and your patient jokingly asks, "This isn't your first time giving one of these, right?"

8. You're almost certain that your school's nursing board chose the ugliest scrubs they could find and said, "Let's make these mandatory."

9. Knowing that you have an important exam that you could (should) be studying for, but deciding to watch Netflix instead.

10. Getting to the first day of clinical after weeks of classroom practice.

11. When you become the ultimate mom-friend after learning about the effects various substances have on the human body.

12. Running off of 4-5 hours of sleep has become the new norm for you.

13. And getting just the recommended 7-8 hours makes you feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

14. You have a love-hate relationship with ATI.

15. When your study group says they're meeting on a Saturday.

16. Choosing an answer that's correct, but not the "most" correct, therefore it is wrong.

17. And even though the late nights and stress can feel overwhelming,

18. You wouldn't want any other major because you can't wait to save lives and take care of others.

19. And let's be honest...

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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If You Really Want To Lessen The Divide Between Arts And Athletics, Funding Will Be Equalized

It's right in front of us and has been going unnoticed.

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No matter how old you are, you probably identify at least a little with either the arts or athletics. Growing up, most of us were either the 'cool' kids who typically played some type of sport or the not-so-cool kids that were interested in the arts. A simple question would be, why can't someone be both? Well, it's possible, but do the in-betweeners ever feel completely at home in one setting? This is an issue that tends to extend to college, and a point was brought up to me not long ago regarding the social gap between athletes and other students. In order to eradicate this issue, we must first understand where it stems from.

All in all, it seems to me that the divide begins in schools. Schools are the first places where children are beginning to be socialized, so the most impact tends to be made there. If schools are teaching children to look up to older high school athletes, as most do, it is almost certain that most children will aspire to be a part of that culture when they get to high school. Sure, some students will want to join the arts because they notice an affinity towards them, but some might still look the other way because of what they have been taught to admire.

Once in high school, perhaps even more impact is made. Students are discovering who they are and what their place in the world around them is. The way that their high school treats them means everything because that's typically their world for four long years.

From what I gather, the majority of high schools put athletes on a pedestal, letting them get away with more than others, as well as rewarding them more than others.

There are several problems with this, the first being that other students are placed in the background. Students who take part in the arts in school are often held to a typical standard, where they must follow all of the rules with little leniency and are not as recognized for their achievements as the athletes. However this does not only negatively affect students in the arts, but athletes as well. It might seem a little odd to claim that they are negatively affected while given all the privileges, but it is true to a certain extent.

For example, these athletes will not be adequately prepared for life after high school. After years of being told how wonderful they are and being exempt from average rules of behavior, these students are likely to graduate high school and be shocked at how they are expected to act and how people no longer hand them special privileges.

Both students involved in the arts and athletics are hurt here as well because they are all missing out on the crucial socialization of one group with another that may have different interests.

It is so important that these groups meet so that they are able to network with others who maybe aren't exactly like them. There is also always the possibility that students will find new interests that they did not even know they had by speaking to others outside of their groups.

This divide is also perpetuated by the tendency of school districts of all types to overfund athletics and underfund the arts. While the funding of the school may seem like a thing that wouldn't really affect the social lives of students, it creates a socioeconomic divide of sorts between groups. The arts tend to feel smaller and recognize the divide easily in funding since they face the hardships of it.

If funding was appropriately allocated between programs, this monetary divide could be quickly solved. Perhaps in the absence of the socioeconomic divide, tackling the more social aspect might be easier.

It is so important to address the situation early in elementary, middle, and high schools because it may carry on to university. At the university level, it may be easier to eradicate the divide since most students seem to be on the same page. However, it can still seem intimidating to approach someone of a social group that you have been conditioned to feel uncomfortable around. The divide is unfair for both parties, and the most a student can really do is to step out of their comfort zone and start a conversation with someone they don't know. It starts with the individual, so be kind to others and remember that there is growth in discomfort.

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