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Do you think that small colleges are more like high school?

ilovecoleggeilovecolegge Posts: 191Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2010 in College Life
I'm a junior and I'm not really very popular at my high school. My high school is pretty small (~1,400 students.) I prefer a college that has at least 5,000 students. My question is, however, do you think that smaller colleges are like high school? Is it harder to make friends? Do rumors run more rampant?
Post edited by ilovecolegge on

Replies to: Do you think that small colleges are more like high school?

  • Manhattan75Manhattan75 Posts: 523- Member
    They could be, yes, but there are other factors as well. Location has a lot to do with it too.
  • DCHurricaneDCHurricane Posts: 2,976- Senior Member
    What Manhattan said. I'll give ya some perspective though. I first went to a small college of about 5,000 people total, and it really did 'feel like college.' Part of that though probably had to do with the people I hung out with. Now I'm going to a college of about 26,000 undergrads (with postgrad students it's around 37,000) and I feel like just another cog in the machine. But I also have not met as many people.

    If I could go back in time I'd probably stick with the smaller school and make some adjustments to my life so that I wouldn't have left in the first place. Either that, or go to a big school but with a strong strong strong sense of community. Programs like honors or Corps of Cadets (only a few schools have those) would help in bigger schools.

    edit: Also for more perspective, I was not very popular in high school (junior and senior year I made some great friends, but I wasn't popular) and my high school was about 400 students.
  • nikkernikker Posts: 172Registered User Junior Member
    It really just depends, to be quite honest.

    I went to a high school that had ~ 3,500 kids, so I'm used to a large student body.
    I had a fair small group of friends, but I enjoyed that.

    Smaller schools could mean more personal interaction an "community" but larger schools can have that as well! Go where you feel more comfotable.
  • Cody2010Cody2010 Posts: 1,210- Senior Member
    I'm thinking it'd be easier to make friends, but because of the size cliques and stuff like that would be a lot more noticeable like they are in high school.
  • MiruMiru Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    I think it might depend on how specialized the small school is. If it offers all kinds of majors, there are more likely to be a diverse set of people, and therefore you might run into some of the more clique-y aspects of high school.

    As for me, I'm go to a tiny (less than 800 people) engineering college, and its absolutely nothing like my 1600 person high school. It seems like everyone's brilliant, funny, kind and talented in some way. Because of the specialization, I think it's been easier for me to make friends here than it would have been at a large university. I feel like I would be close friends with 75% of the people here if they had transferred into my high school.Its very different for people to understand you, to understand your jokes, and to use "nerd" as a joking compliment rather than a derogatory term. And its not like we're missing out on those things that people seem to think are vital to the college experience either - there are huge parties on the weekends (with plenty of alcohol, and some school funding for the non-alcoholic aspects), people with social skills are definitely not virgins unless by choice, etc.

    People eventually end up hanging out in small groups, but there isn't the kind of cliquey animosity of HS. You just can't be close friends with everyone, so smaller groups form based on dorms and interests. However, I feel like I'm on good terms with nearly everyone in my year. As for rumors, yes they definitely do get around. Its not like people are actively spreading malicious rumors, but its hard not to notice
    when a couple of people are hanging out together all the time, or suddenly are never found in the same room. You can't hide from your ex, so you'd better not break up awkwardly. It doesn't really bother me though. Its kind of nice to know that I'll actually know the people (for better of for worse) that I'll be sitting by at graduation.

    I imagine the situation is similar for other small colleges that are somewhat specialized (I'm at Harvey Mudd, so I'm surrounded by Scripps, Pitzer, CMC and Pomona, all of which have much more specialized populations than the average university, even though Pomona offers nearly every major. I think it has something to do with selectiveness).
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