Attending a college whose population is roughly the size of a graduating class of a state university can sometimes be rough. But there are also undeniable benefits!
Pro: Everyone knows everyone. This may seem like an exaggeration, but believe me it’s not. Even if you don’t have a close, personal relationship with an individual, chances are you at least know their name, class standing, and projected major. Also, their significant other and particular group of friends. You just know.
Con: Everyone knows everyone – and their drama. You can’t walk anywhere on campus without seeing someone you know. This can get kinda old sometimes. Since the group of people on campus is smaller, gossip travels faster. Choosing people to tell your dirt to is a delicate process, and one must do so with the utmost caution. Telling the wrong person could result in the rest of campus finding out. On the flipside, you get to sit back and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s drama.
Pro: The study guide resources are unreal. The general ed classes are required for everyone, and there are some really good study guides floating around out there. Since the student body is smaller, these study guides are more easily accessible. Getting a hold of one of these study guides is easy if you know who to talk to. Upperclassman can relay helpful information about what to expect in classes and which professors to take or avoid. Take advantage of them!
Con: The dating waters are choppy to navigate. The problem with dating someone at a small college is that if you break up with them, you keep seeing them around campus - in classes, the cafeteria, the library, etc. You can't get away from them. Additionally, the person you date might've already dated someone on campus, and this leads to its own set of problems. So. Date with caution.
Pro: The college pride is real. Regardless of the small student body population, every one of those students is proud of where they go to college. They wear their college rep with pride, and meeting an alum from their college is a unique experience, full of bonding. You exchange stories and reminisce over similar school experiences. There are many state universities out there, but only one of your college - and you're proud of that!
Con: The campus can sometimes feel confining. After a time, studying at the same places every day can get old. If your college town is particularly small, then this is especially true. Making it in and out of the grocery store without seeing a schoolmate is rare, as you can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing someone you know. Finding new hangout places and study spots is in art, and difficult to accomplish. It’s tough, but definitely possible.
Pro: It’s a unique experience that you won’t get anywhere else! Any place you go for college will have its own set of pros and cons. The key is to stay positive and focus on the bright points of your home-away-from-home. Each small college has its own ethos and its own sense of community, and that’s something that you wouldn’t trade for anything else!