Dear public university students who look at private colleges (or the students who attend these private colleges) and scoff--we don't think we're better than you. We never thought we were better than you, but somehow that idea came into play. The media plays a significant role in what we think about others and with the countless films and television shows depicting a pecking order in high schools across the nation, we carry that idea into college.
When I told people I was attending a private college after graduating high school, most looked shocked; some even tried to change my mind saying I would probably get a better education at a public university. A lot of individuals questioned why I would want to go from classes with 30 or more people to classes with only 15 or 20 students. Numerous people, years older than myself, thought I wanted to attend a private institution because my family had money, or because I saw myself as better than others. The truth is, I don't come from a family with a lot of money and I don't think I'm better than anyone else.
A lot of my friends who go to public universities think that I'm full of myself, that I look down on others who do not attend private colleges, and that I, and my peers, have formed an "elite society" because we go to a private college, but that is just silly. The only reason I chose to attend a private college is because I liked the community of people and saw myself succeeding there. I didn't look down on others who chose to attend a public university, and I wasn't full of myself because of my choice to attend a private college. I just preferred a smaller campus, smaller class sizes, and a community I could really get involved in.
I remember being told numerous times that there was a pecking order at private colleges, that private colleges were a lot like high school and while I can pick out the students who were popular in high school, it's only because they are confident in what they are doing while most people tend to let their insecurity show in a new place; but at a smaller college, my insecurities disappear and then I don't see popularity at all. I only see people who chose the same college I did and the common goal we are working toward; graduation.
In short, students who attend private colleges don't think they are better than anyone else. In fact, sometimes we wonder what it would be like to attend a university where we don't know almost everyone on campus or to take obscure classes, like the History of Beyoncé, just because it is an option. Yes, attending a private college may have a few small perks, but out in the real world when a number of us are applying for the same job, a public or private college doesn't matter; what matters is the experience you have. All it comes down to is where you prefer to go to school and where you see yourself thriving instead of just surviving.