What is it Like to Go to a Small College?

What is it Like to Go to a Small College

When choosing where you want to attend college, the size of the university can have a huge difference in your decision. The size of your school can affect many aspects of your overall college career and how much you end up liking the university once you are there.

You may be asking what is it like to go to a small college? Going to a small college is like going to high school. The classes are smaller, and you have more direct contact with professors. This means you must go to class because the professors know you since the classes are smaller. There would be more of a community feel on the overall campus. The larger universities many people join clubs or organizations to narrow down the large university.

It can be kind of similar to choosing the type of city, village, town, etc. that you want to live in. each person feels differently about the type of environment they want to live in and how big of a place they want to be in.

Going to a college with a thousand or so people versus going to a college with over fifty thousand students can be a big difference.

College is a huge part of your life. You are spending thousands and thousands of dollars and dedicating your life to studying and working hard for four years.

You want to make sure that you are making the right choice of where you want to go to fulfill these plans. It is important to stay honest and true to your own values and admit what kind of lifestyle suits you best.

If you are used to a small town and you aren’t a huge city person, then maybe you shouldn’t go to a huge school. It is always great to try new things and get out of your comfort zone, but if you know for a fact that you aren’t going to enjoy a certain type of place or lifestyle, then don’t pay to go somewhere you aren’t comfortable with.

You have a lot of time to visit and research different colleges.

It is important to take all of this very seriously and find a place that you love and where you feel you fit in the best.

After looking into the academic side, you can focus on what size school really suits your needs. I think we all can figure out which type of university fits us best.

I personally came from a super small town but have always loved cities and lots of people. I knew that a big college was for me. However, any of my friends who thrived in our community realized that they loved the small town and small community feels. Most of them ended up at some great smaller universities where they ended up loving and continuing to succeed.


There are many ways to make a big school feel small, but nothing will ever quite compare to the feel of a small school. Having a smaller number of students at your school allows you to get closer to your class and your school as a whole. It really brings together the feeling of a great community and allows you to find a connection between everyone around you.

Most likely as you stroll along the campus you will constantly see people that you know. Going to a smaller school also allows you to sometimes get to know people quickly and have a little bit of an easier transition into school. Smaller colleges tend to give students a warm welcome.


More than likely you will get to know someone in every sort of group at the university which is an amazing experience to have. This will really teach you a lot about diversity, inclusion, and networking.

It can really open your eyes, change some of your ideas, and give you a taste of what the real world is like.

College is so different from high school in so many ways but having a close-knit school can be the one thing that stays the same for you when you go to college.

Going to a small high school, I was used to the close-knit community and how it shaped the students at my school. It was one of my favorite things about high school and I appreciate that smaller universities can give that feeling to their students as well.

Fewer students also mean fewer teachers which gives students a chance to get closer to their professors and have them for multiple classes. Having a relationship with professors is so important and can lead to so many great opportunities.

Class Size

Although big schools do the best that they can to provide small class sizes, they do still tend to have big lectures for popular classes. The one thing that you can know for use when going to a smaller university is that you are almost guaranteed small class sizes.

This is good for many reasons. One main reason is that it can give you more one on one time with your professors which makes it easier for you to ask questions and receive the help that you need.

This can really make a difference and help a lot when it comes to the overall education of your undergraduate career. Every person has a different learning style and needs different things when it comes to academics, learning styles, and professors.

Take advantage of small classes and network with professors. Having professors that you are close with can really help open. Doors for you and get you opportunities you may have never thought you would have had.

This means that there will probably also be fewer students at professors’ office hours and tutoring sessions. Once again smaller schools just give you chances to have up close and personal times with the professors who determine your overall grade in the class.

Office hours and tutoring sessions can really make a difference in your grades when it comes to classes that you are having trouble with. This means that these types of luxuries cold help your overall grades and GPA.

Cars/ Parking

Most bigger schools may not allow students to have cars on campus until they are second or third years. Some people are just fine without a car and it doesn’t really impact their college career.

However, others really like having a car and being able to drive whenever they need to. It can also be hard and costly to find and pay for parking on a lot of campuses.

Normally, the smaller the campus size, the easier it is to have a parking pass and it is cheaper. This means that you are saving time and money. Spending time on parking can be frustrating.

If you are going to a small college in a major city like American University Washington DC, then the college will not allow you to have a car. The campus area is limited to being in a major city so they will not have parking.

Not every small college are in smaller towns, but a lot are.

The other good thing about this when it comes to driving is that you have less traffic. This can make things a lot easier on you and anyone that comes to visit you.

These may seem like things that are a huge deal, but when you are living somewhere and living with daily struggles, these are the things that can make a difference. Once again it really comes down to your individual personality about certain things.

Having a car with you for nine months can really make a difference depending on your personality.

Waiting Lines

If you go to a smaller school, the odds are that you won’t have to wait too long for anything or have trouble finding a seat in the library. If situations where you are in a long line of people for food, or can’t find a place to study bother you, then you’re in luck.

Of course, with any school, you are still going to get congestion of the students especially around popular times of the day and harder times of the school year. But, where at a big school you might find yourself waiting a lot on a day to day basis, a smaller school has less waiting time and more eating and studying time.

Take advantage of these kinds of luxuries. Once again this may be a small thing to think about before attending the university, but it is the day to day tasks that really make a difference.


Overall there are many ups and downs of any size of a university. There is no right or wrong answer. It just depends on what you want and needs from your undergraduate college experience.

Do whatever feels right for you and don’t pick a school just because your friends are or because your family wants you to go there. If you pick a school that is a size you don’t think you’re going to like, you aren’t going to enjoy yourself and you could end up transferring.

There is nothing wrong with transferring, but it could be easily prevented if you do your research and stay true to yourself and your core values so that you are paying for an institution that best suits you.

College is some of your best, but most stressful times and you want to make sure you do everything in your power to make things easier on yourself. No one knows you better than you know you. I promise you that the size of your school does make a difference, so don’t push that aspect of college away when making your decision.

You may also want to read what it is like to go to a big college.

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