When first thinking about going to a small school, some parents can find it a bit overwhelming with endless classes and professors and research. Because of that, when we started suggesting that someone go to a smaller school in the United States, we quickly came up with the slogan “Find Out Where the Big Bang Is.”
Right. With their wealth of different schools and opportunities, why would we suggest a small one?
As much as we love big schools, we also love the smaller schools as well. We like to suggest that anyone who is thinking about going to college go to a small school. At our universities there are more of us. It’s much easier to connect with other people. You can look the person up in the library and find out if they are going to have a party tonight or if they have an exit interview on Friday at 2 p.m. You get to know people better.
Also, professors are generally more personable. You get to spend more time with your professors than you would at a big, old, rich school. You may even get to go off campus to visit other classes and professors.
Classrooms are very small. Students can get to know each other better and it’s easy to make friends. Also, if you study the “idealized” universities like Princeton and Harvard, you tend to get bullied because everyone at those schools is an extrovert, while you’re definitely introverted. Big, flashy, expensive schools are idealized, but they have a good thing, which is they’re probably wonderful places to go to college. That’s part of the reason it’s so difficult to get into one: they have too many colleges to choose from and they simply can’t select the perfect one. You might get turned down from Princeton if you’re not someone who has been accepted to Harvard or Harvard if you’re not someone who’s been accepted to Princeton.
Students from smaller schools are more able to see that they can actually go somewhere. They don’t have to be jaded or cynical about themselves. Big schools are like Camcorders: you take one just to get a glimpse of what college life is like, but you’re not there yet. Smaller schools let you get to know yourself and your own strengths. If you have a certain ability, you can access that in a smaller place. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice your personality just to fit in.
Plus, many small schools have free lunch, so if you love eating, there’s no better way to maximize your college experience.
If you’re interested in a school outside of the United States, if you can, we’d recommend exploring smaller countries like Uruguay or Belgium. There is a lot to see there. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could consider countries like Tunisia, Morocco, and Italy. They’re more diverse than America and they have a great opportunity to experience culture.
Again, it’s not as glamorous as a big American university, but if you love a little bit of America in your life, we’d highly recommend trying a small school somewhere else.