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Perks and Quirks of Attending a Small College

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Cairn University: population around 1,300. That, readers, is SMALL. Maybe you attended a high school where the total enrollment was 13 students per class. Or maybe you attended a middle school, like myself, whose population was 1,700 students. Regardless, you now attend a small college. And like any school, there are perks and quirks of spending your collegiate career with under 2,000 other peers. After some careful consideration, I’ve composed a list of several perks and quirks of attending a small college. In my opinion, however, the perks outweigh the quirks! Read along to see if you agree:


Quirk: Everyone knows everyone’s business

Oh ho ho. THIS quirk is not only completely true, but also applicable to most everyone. Perhaps it’s the smaller amount of students, or perhaps the “family-like” atmosphere where everyone knows everyone, but if you have business, it generally goes around. Not to mention if someone sees you crying in the bathroom, or engaged in a heated phone call in a stairwell, it may slip out into the masses. Although it’s nice to be somewhat close with everyone, when you have some more personal business, it tends to escape into the larger population.


Perk: Things are close in distance

If you know anyone who attends a larger state school, or even a larger university, you may be acquainted with the idea of taking a shuttle or a bus to different parts of campus. But at a smaller school, you can typically just walk everywhere! Imagine arriving to class on the first day of the semester, having forgotten your required textbook. There is a slight chance you may be able to run back to your room if you live on a small campus. On a large campus? Forget it. You would have to wait 15 minutes to catch a shuttle.


Quirk: Sports can be a struggle

Well, unfortunately for Cairn, we are acquainted too well with this one quirk. Larger schools typically have more athletes, or more funds, to supply scholarships or to improve their athletic programs. With these scholarships and million-dollar sport facilities, it is more likely that these larger schools will have flourishing athletic programs. Smaller schools, however, may struggle to gain participants, and may not be as financially able to improve athletic facilities.


Perk: smaller classes = better relationship with professor

This is a perk I am most grateful for here at Cairn. At a large school, classes can number well over 100 students. At smaller colleges, however, it makes sense that since there are fewer enrolled students, there are smaller classes. And because of smaller class sizes, the professor may be more inclined to know not only your name, but recognize your work and your skill level in the particular class. Having a professor know your face, name, and average letter grade in his or her class is definitely a perk in attending a smaller college.


Quirk: “Where did you say you went again…?”

Goodness. This happens to me all of the time. “Cairn? You mean, like the woman’s name, ‘Karen’?” The trouble with smaller schools is not necessarily their popularity, but more so their ability to be recognized. It can be somewhat discouraging when you mention your school’s name, and no one has any idea what you are talking about. And when someone does know where you attend college, you light up and begin asking “How do you know about my school!?” It is certainly not the end of the world to explain where your school is and what kind of university it is, but it can be somewhat discouraging when someone has no idea what you are talking about.


Perk: And for Cairn specifically? We attend a strong, sound, biblically-based university that encourages us to pursue the only One worth living for.

I mean really, what other perk does there need to be? And do you honestly think that any quirk outweighs this one? Any day I’ll take fewer-rostered sports teams, well-meaning nosy neighbors, and a confused family member’s face at the mention of my school’s name if it means I get to learn about my Savior through strong, biblical teaching. The quirks of attending a small college are somewhat meaningless in comparison to the education and sanctification we receive in attending Cairn University, population 1,300.

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