When it comes to college, size matters. For four (mostly) great years, I attended Howard University, a medium sized historically black college in Washington, D.C. As someone who went to small private middle and high schools–there were only about 130 or so students in my grade–I felt like my college’s size was perfect. For example, it was big enough to see a new face on a regular basis, but small enough that I was constantly seeing friends and acquaintances all over campus. Plus, I only had a handful of big lecture hall classes; most of my professors actually knew my name. A small school would have felt too similar to the know-everything-about-everyone nature of my high school, and a big school–damn, a big school would be a totally different monster.
Big schools usually have more than 15,000 or 20,000 students. For example, schools like UCLA, Michigan State, NYU, University of Toronto, University College London…the list goes on. There are a lot of perks of attending a big college: You’re around a lot of different types of people, you’re more likely to have access to a world class research facilities, and there’s always something happening on campus. Plus, in the United States, a lot of big colleges tend to be public universities, which are often less expensive than private universities. Plenty to be excited about, right? But don’t get caught up just yet. There are plenty of things about a big college that might be a huge detractor for you. Before you send off your application to the mega school of your dreams, you might want to watch out for these seven signs you’ll hate going to a big college.
You Don't Want To Be A Face In the CrowdWhat I loved about going to a medium sized school was that I actually recognized people on a regular basis. At a big school, you see totally new people every day. If you’re intimidated by a ton of people milling about, or the idea of rarely ever running into people you know on campus isn’t exactly appealing, a big school might not be right for you.
Greek Life Isn't Your ThingThis isn't the case with every big school, but many large universities in the United States have a massive Greek presence. Sororities and fraternities rule the school, and they can be one of your only ways to feel part of a smaller community in such a big place.
You're Not Big On SportsNot every big school has a big sports presence, but let's be real: Think of any big public university that doesn't go buck around football season. It’s easy enough to ignore the big basketball game when you go to a medium sized or small school, but sports can absolutely consume the culture of a large university. And if you’re not the sporty type, you could feel like a bit of an outcast.
You Want To Go To Classes Actually Taught By The ProfessorVery high in demand professors might have an assistant teach their class. So that professor you've been dying to have? Yeah, have fun knowing his assistant more than actual professor. This happens at small schools too, but it's incredibly common at larger universities because the professor has a ton of students, which often means more work to do.
You Don't Want To Be Stuck In A Bunch Of Lecture HallsFor the purposes of this post, I asked my BF what was one of his least favorite things about attending a large school. Without hesitation, he said the class sizes. Over half of his classes took place in massive lecture halls with over 200 students. This might not sound like the end of the world, and it's not. But large lecture halls can be tough because they can be harder to follow; if you're confused about a point but the rest of the class has moved on, you're going to feel pressured to march on. A professor might not even notice if you have your hand up if the class is big enough! If intimacy is something you want out of your classes, you probably don't want to go to a big school.Pinterest
You Want More Individual AttentionYeah, you're not going to get that when you're competing with hundreds of students in one classroom. Plus, if you want your professor to know you, good luck.
Getting Around A Massive Campus Can Be A PainI took a class one summer at UCLA and I I was shocked by how big the campus was. I visited a few times, but actually having to park and hustle to class? That was a different story. If you're okay with relying on a car, bike, or shuttle to make it to your 9 AM class, then this shouldn't be a concern. But there's definitely something nice about knowing it wouldn't take you ages and ages to get from one side of campus to another when you're in a rush.
What other signs are there? Do you think any of the signs listed aren’t really a big deal? Tell us in the comments!