I grew up in a small town surrounded by other small towns and went to a small high school that interacted with other small high schools. My childhood was spent playing sports against other teams in South Jersey and playing those same people in high school. Everyone knew each other.
There are people who either stay with the familiar or embrace the unknown, and sometimes you meet people who are partial to both. I fall into the familiar category.
I didn’t intend to attend a small school. When looking at where I would the continue my education, my focus was primarily on colleges with a communication and lacrosse program. I tended to shy away from schools with large populations. I didn’t want to go to a school where I would get lost in the shuffle and have to fight to be noticed. 100 person lectures did not appeal to me either.
I love the small classroom setting because I can cultivate connections with the professors and my classmates. My professors get to know me and genuinely care about me; I’m not a face in the crowd. At a small school, you create a relationship with your classmates because you attend the same classes. I started my communication core classes in the fall and the majority of my classmates are in my classes again. We are with each other for the majority of the day and create a lot of memories.
You also get to make study buddies. Walking through the library, you can find small groups of students studying. But, if you come back later, you might find that the group has grown two or three times its original size. Especially if a whiteboard is in use.
At Florida Tech, students create their own families, whether intentional or not. And not just one, but many. There are a multitude of diverse organizations on campus so that everyone, especially the international students, have a place and can feel connected to campus. Once you join a club or organization, you meet people that have different interests than you, but those interests intrigue you and you find yourself joining in and meeting more new people. This makes it is easier to make friends on a small campus because everyone has some kind of connection with each other.
If you think that you don’t meet people on a small campus, you’re wrong. By the time your first semester has finished, you would think that you have met or seen all of the student population. But, because Florida Tech attracts many international and transfer students, you will meet new people every semester.
A plus for going to a small school is that the grill man who makes the best breakfast sandwiches will remember your order and the Starbucks ladies know your order and name, even if its on your ID card.
I believe that attending a small school was one of the best decisions that I made in my college years. I love the pride that the students at Florida Tech have in their academia, organizations and each other. I wouldn’t choose a different school for the world.