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Can I get close relationships and a rigorous, hands on education at a large school?

naturecreativenaturecreative Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
Hello! I am just starting the college visiting process and just finished visiting 2 of my local colleges, Birmingham Southern and UAB. I really loved how large and vibrant UAB was, with a lot of opportunities for student life and service, and Birmingham Southern felt deserted to me and didn't have much in terms of student life. Thus, I am thinking of going to a larger school. However, I really liked Birmingham Southern's academics, with lots of hands-on learning and relationships with the professors, as well as small classes. If I went to a huge college 30,000+, would I still get that? Do you know any schools in the south that offer that? Is it useless to even look? I am also not a party gal, but I love school spirit and trying new things. Hopefully this makes sense! Any advice would be appreciated.

Replies to: Can I get close relationships and a rigorous, hands on education at a large school?

  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 1,464 Senior Member
    Yes, you can get close relationships and a hands-on education at a large school. It's up to you.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    --Get to know your professors. Students are often reluctant to speak with professors. I've found they are often concerned that the professors will find out what they don't know. Often the professor already knows. But professors find it really helpful to know their students, where they are with the class, what they do well, and what they might be struggling with. Think about this way: college is expensive. Part of the deal is that professors, who are expert in their field, hold office hours and provide other opportunities to talk with students. Why not take advantage of these one-on-one opportunities to learn, which is why a student is at college.

    --Listen for research and other opportunities to work with your professor. I know a freshman at a national university. A professor in their major complimented their first paper of the semester. A few days later, the prof said they had an opening in their lab. The freshman spoke to the prof about it and started that week.

    --At least at some level make your department (of your major) your fraternity/sorority. Attend talks, debates, movies, etc. sponsored by the department (and often advertised by flyers, online, etc.) and maybe set aside a block of time to study in the departmental library or somewhere comfortable in the same building. You'll get to know people in the department, and you'll become someone they think of when there are opportunities.

    In terms of recommending schools, what's your approximate budget? That makes a big difference. Money aside, what about Belmont University in Nashville? About 6500 undergrads, so larger than BS but not as big as UAB. 13:1 faculty:student ratio is same as BS. Also urban. Christian, so maybe more focus on service and less focus on drinking (though I don't know anything about the school's culture). Good luck!
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,051 Senior Member
    The student experience at a large school varies greatly depending on what the student does. Someone that joins clubs (academic and social), lives in the dorm, takes part in study groups with fellow students, goes to office hours to get to know some of her profs, enrolls in seminars and other small classes -- this person has a more personal & rewarding experience.

    But is it the same as a LAC or smaller college? No.
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