After being in contact with some of my friends, I realized how many pros and cons there are in going to both small and large campuses. Although they gave me a pretty hefty list of cons, we also discussed pros of larger colleges which included items such as more options for classes and food along with more resources (nurses, counselors, etc.). Although they did give me a pretty big list of cons, we picked the three that we thought were relevant to most (or all) of the larger colleges.
To get a look at a larger campus, the below video shows a campus tour of the University of Central Florida from 2012, and since then it has actually grown. One pro that you can see from this video is that there are entire buildings dedicated to particular areas of study.
- Not all professors you have will know your name
Professors at large colleges see tons of students every day and those students likely change every semester, especially in classes that are generals. While in their class, they may know your name and where you sit, but you can’t expect them to remember it for the next few years while you’re in college. There really isn’t a solution to this, it is just something you come to except. If you really like one of your teachers, consider taking more classes with them if the classes fit into your academic plan and vice versa for those that you aren’t particularly fond of. When you get into classes that are smaller and more directed at your major, you will start seeing some of the same professors more often.
Parking is a pain if you have to drive to campus or to classes on a larger campus. One of my friends suggests, if driving, to get there pretty early due to the fact the parking lot closest to your class may be full by the time you get there. That same friend learned that the hard way when she was pulling into the parking lot about 5 minutes before her class started, realized there was no parking left, had to find another lot to park in, and arrived to class about 10-15 minutes late. She suggests that you should show up extra early when driving the first few times just to see how many people are in that lot at that time to see how early you need to get there for that class. She has classes where it is fine if she comes 5 minutes early and others where she shows up 20 minutes early and just packs something to do until class starts.
- Distance in between classes
Different campuses are set up differently so this one can vary. Most likely though, if you are going to a big school, with a big campus, you will need to plan accordingly and leave your room early enough to get to class. One of my friend’s advice for this is to walk, or ride the bus, to the location of each of your classes to see how long it’ll take. She also suggests if taking the bus to be there at least 5 min early just in case the bus takes off early. Because some of the classes she has are a 15 min ride, this is also an opportunity for her to pull out a book she has to read for class or study some flashcards for a test she has coming up. She highly recommends taking this time to do something productive if it is a busy week for you. Unfortunately, with longer distances to class comes waking up earlier for those morning classes. Because classes are farther away, it makes it more important to not snooze the alarm too many times because most classes are not within a few minutes from your dorm.
If you are still struggling with whether you should go to a big or small college, I found a quiz that helps you evaluate where you may stand. It is also important to note that you should not go to a small or big college just because a quiz says you should; always pay attention to what you want to do and where YOU think will be best for you! 🙂