If size mattered, the elephant would be the king of the jungle. The road to success is always under construction; the smaller the road is, the farther it can be built. Small universities have the privilege of growth. Growth is a rare and powerful engine that ignites ambition into practice, and speeds toward the discovery of full potential.
Why do small universities foster the most ambitious careers? Everyday, small universities change the world through inviting the world to learn together. I chose to attend Florida Institute of Technology because of its small size. It has always been my dream to be an astronaut. My ticket to space is the tremendous aptitude for growth that small universities like Florida Tech can offer. Florida Tech embraces innovation and entrepreneurship with a unique international mindset.
Everyday, small universities change the world through inviting the world to learn together. My international classmates often insist that Florida Tech is so appealing to international students because of its small size. Why do small universities appeal to more diverse groups of students?
Living in a different country can be intimidating. At a small school, the smaller class sizes can provide a more comfortable atmosphere than a lecture hall. There is no doubt that international students feel more at home to learn when they interact with smaller class sizes. As a domestic student, I learn about my classmates and about the many countries they represent. The inspiration to work in teams is a surprising byproduct of attending a small university. As an Aerospace Engineering major in small classes, it is necessary to form teams to tackle large scientific problems. In the small university system, I am surrounded by a limited amount of likeminded aspiring engineers. The largest misconception about teamwork is that competition is can be damaging among its members. I argue that competition among teammates is vital to success. If everybody agreed all of the time, no common goal would be reached.
As part of a small university, my classmates push me beyond my academic comfort zone, and I challenge them in return. This strategic collaboration can be challenging at large universities because individuals can drown in the sea of people and ideas.
Florida Tech is one body of faculty, staff, and students. The faculty and staff of small universities look after their students more vigilantly. For example, they learn students’ names and take an interest in their lives. Most importantly, they promote events to bring the entire university together. At a small school, you can find students and faculty from all programs attending events, whether it is a STEM guest speaker or a play.
A version of this article appeared on the Times Higher Education website.