I have been busy compiling my thoughts about my various college visits thus far. I realized that the majority of schools I visited have a student population of <2,000. My intent was not to search for small schools, but I ended up finding several which I like. However, I have friends who currently attend small schools, and they are dissatisfied. One transferred out because she felt "stranded" on the weekends, another felt that her department had inadequate resources/she did not like the fact that she was stuck taking classes from the same few professors over and over again. These experiences are obviously not typical of all small colleges, however, they are more common than at a large university, generally speaking. While I am attracted to the idea of having discussion-based classes and value a highly-participatory experience, the idea of seeing the same student/faculty faces repeatedly within my chosen department seems as if it could be limiting. I'm sort of a shy person and while I like the idea of being in a close-knit atmosphere, I'm worried there won't be many alternatives should I not mesh right away with other students. Another concern of mine is the extracurricular scene at smaller schools--while all of the small colleges I looked at had a variety, it seemed as if activities didn't receive as much financial support/weren't taken as seriously as at the mid-sized universities I had visited. I also think it's limiting to only have one dining hall and a library of a modest magnitude (as was true at all small colleges I visited, thus far). By the way, the small colleges I visited/are visiting include: Arcadia University, Ursinus College, Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College and Gettysburg College, if anyone is attending/has visited these institutions and would be willing to share their experiences. Despite the fact that the majority of these are well-regarded, and I was overall impressed, I still wonder if the size would be confining. There's a certain buzz that I like about larger schools (though not gargauntuan ones), and I feel as if it would be more difficult to become bored.
I would like to hear both from students who attend small colleges (<2,000-ish), and those who attend midsized universities (I'm not interested in schools much over 10,000-15,000), about the advantages and disadvantages of attending a school of that size. Upon googling this issue, I have found mostly stereotypical remarks such as class size and the level of bureaucracy in the administration, but I would like to hear a more personal perspective about academic quality, social life, faculty relations, extracurricular possibilities, and the overall level of opportunity.