Going to a university with over 50,000 individuals is probably one of my favorite journeys in life so far. This statement is coming from a girl who’s attended schools with less than 400 students her whole life until college.
Yes, you read correctly.
Since I was in kindergarten, I have attended K-12th grade private schools. My classes were made up of 15-30 individuals. Other than in high school, when AP and honor classes were introduced, I spent my days with the same classmates. My 2013 graduating class was a class of maybe 28.
Next thing I knew I was thrown into a world with over 50,000 people on a campus. My classes ranged from a 35-person discussion class to a 300-person lecture class. Walking across classes within 15 minutes was hard to do with thousands of others doing the same.
But I love it.
In which there’s a small school type of girl who loves a big university type of world.
When you grow up in a small, K-12th grade private school, you pretty much know everyone. Everyone knows you. You can create a relationship with just more than your classmates, like your teachers and staff members. Your classmates’ parents are like your own. Sometimes you can get away with things in a classroom setting that you shouldn’t because everyone knows your story. You make any sports team that you want. You’re able to receive even the smallest role in the school play.
And all of the above are fine; great actually. It’s comfortable.
That’s the thing, though; you can become so comfortable that the idea of going on to a bigger university is frightening.
Sure, you still have classmates and professors, but in a college setting you will more than likely not be with the same people every day. You may be with specific classmates for 50 minutes around 3 days a week. You actually have to go out and make friends and relationships.
But as you grow older, you’ll find that going out and achieving what you want is what you have to do.
You feel comfortable at your high school or your town because it’s familiar. You made it familiar.
Small-school students, it’s not that we can’t survive at a big university or that we can’t adapt. We can. It’s all about breaking out of our shells and making an effort.
If anything, going to a small school or living in a small town makes our interpersonal skills amazing. In college, those same interpersonal skills have helped me make some of the greatest friends.
I’m not saying we are any better than those who did not go to a small school; I’m saying we shouldn’t be underestimated or underestimate ourselves in regards to a larger setting.
I embrace the fact that I went to a small school. I’m grateful to my parents for sending me there. I had the opportunity to learn and participate in so much. I had the most amazing teachers touch my life.
Some of my success in my 50,000+ university world can be attributed to the interactions and opportunities received from my small school world.
And I am not ashamed to proclaim that fact.