Choose a boring town?

<p>The thread topic is supposed to be funny. I know small college towns need not be boring. ;)
This question came up in the DePaul thread: might Chicago be too distracting for a freshman? Too much going on? I remember the same question came up when my daughter's friend chose Fordham in the Bronx - might there be too easy access to NYC's shopping and clubs for a student who loves shopping and night life?</p>

<p>I am from a remote area and spent my undergraduate years in the Twin Cities and really enjoyed access to what Minneapolis and Saint Paul offered. They were exciting cities to me. And I have a slight concern that the students may drink more on more remote campuses, especially on remote cold-weather campuses - although, I know, college students drink where ever they are...</p>

<p>Are you hoping your student will choose a school in a city with few distractions outside of campus?</p>

<p>Or - what do you think of Ann Arbor and Austin, for example, where there are many not-related to-college distractions aimed at 19- and 20-year-olds?</p>

<p>p.s. Daughter's friend at Fordham is now a junior in a known-to-be-challenging major and has maintained excellent grades - but she has also enjoyed NYC shopping!</p>

<p>From what I've heard --from students and others -- students are more likely to drink heavily when they go to colleges that lack many local amenities.</p>

<p>LOL, Austin came to mind even before you mentioned it, MidwestMom! That's where my son will be going. I'm actually thrilled that he'll get to enjoy Austin - so different from New England! My BFF just sent him four books, and one of them was a guide to Austin.</p>

<p>He knows that biomedical engineering will be very demanding, and he'll have to be disciplined to survive. We'll see! I managed to party a bit too much there, but I did OK in school.</p>

<p>Head of guidance at our HS told Jr parents last fall that there are parties every night at every school, even BYU, so don't say one school is a bigger party school than another. Kids will generally find what they are looking for where ever they are! (only exception may be the service academies)</p>

<p>nj2011mom makes a good point. My grandmother attended Hardin-Simmons, a Christian school in Abilene, Texas back in the mid-20s, and she told us more than once that she was surprised how much these "good" kids partied (or whatever word she used!).</p>

<p>On a slightly different angle, my advice to prospective Ph.D. students is to go the best school you can get into, in the worst place you can stand to live. You do not want to choose a school based on how happy you will be while you are there--you want to get done. If you are a big time steelhead fisherman, don't go to Oregon State; go to University of Arizona. If you are a wind surfer, don't go to UCSD, go to Duke. It may not be valid in exactly the same way for undergrads, but the basic dynamic would apply.</p>

<p>Yes, too many compelling external attractions can be a distraction.</p>

<p>DD just finished her freshman year at UT. Austin has so many things to do (museums, movie theatres, funky shopping, sports) that partying isn't near the problem we thought it would be.</p>

<p>D attends a small town school - it might actually be a "village". She will be a senior year and is dreading the thought of leaving her "small town". The town doesn't make the fun, the friends do. </p>

<p>I have a friend whose D graduated from Ann Arbor this past spring. Her D and her mom admit they didn't hardly "use" the town of Ann Arbor - go figure, I'd actually love to move up that way!</p>

<p>To each his own, but I'll stick with my mantra,
"The town doesn't make the fun, the friends do." :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
From what I've heard --from students and others -- students are more likely to drink heavily when they go to colleges that lack many local amenities.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>At my son's LAC in a small town, there was exactly one thing to do: frat parties.</p>

<p>when DD who has ADHD inattentive was looking at Columbia/Barnard/List DW and I were concerned about NYC - wonderful experiences, but would she study? We did support her in applying List (JTSA/Columbia joint program). As it turned out she will be attending RPI in Troy, which is perhaps too far the other direction, but we hope she makes the best of it (fortunately she likes hiking and skiing)</p>

<p>my son and i have been city dwellers for most of his life. i grew up in a massively large city (los angeles), then went to school in a much smaller city (at least it felt much smaller by comparison). he'll be going to a decidedly small town for school, so i expect that he'll experience a bit of culture shock initially. i think it's good for people to sample different types of living situations. i expect him to grow from this experience, and he's looking forward to it. he'll probably be too busy to be bored.</p>

<p>honestly college is a once in a life time exsperience, and going to a place you will hate makes no sence to me, there are parties at most colleges, and if partying is a problem stay away from colleges like University of Florida, or Penn State. But its a life time exsperience and i would never through it away, i am syched to go to college and party, but i know work comes first. The colleges most should stay from are the easy to get into do nothing but party colleges, any tier 1 colleges u outta be good cause they know how to balance partying with work. And in the end all that matters is you graduate, and if you can party while you work then i dont see why it should be a problem, and thats wat schools like UT are made up of, students that party hard but work harder. Thats why its so damn hard to get into, there aint slackers there, like in high school. What im saying if you dont have a problem with getting caught up in the partying, then why does it matter if you go to a school that knows how to party, its schools like Texas State i would watch out for.</p>

<p>Colleges in small towns should take the initiative to provide more activities - that's what can make a small town school stand out. Especially for freshman year - our experience has been that freshman are much more willing to try any form of entertainment from movies on the tundra to in-the-dark scavenger hunts.</p>

<p>My kids chose opposite things -- one chose NYC and once chose Williamstown, MA. Each were/are very happy with the choice.</p>

<p>I really disagree with choosing a place you hate, particularly for the PhD. One often builds enough contacts that make staying in the same place attractive and sensible. If its a place you don't like, not so good.</p>

<p>DD went to school in NYC and after a year of living in London and one of living in Atlanta vows she will never leave again.</p>

<p>Both my bro and I ended up where we went to college.</p>

<p>
[quote]
From what I've heard --from students and others -- students are more likely to drink heavily when they go to colleges that lack many local amenities.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>There is a heavier Greek presence at colleges that are not in urban areas, presumably because there are fewer competing activities.</p>

<p>On the other hand, there are fewer places to spend money in small communities, so a student on a tight budget might be more comfortable there than in a big city, where many of his or her friends would be taking advantage of expensive forms of entertainment that the financially strapped student could not enjoy.</p>

<p>When D was looking at music schools, the ones in the city told her she'd become a great musician because of all the opportunities available off campus and the ones in the middle of nowhere told her she should go there because she'd become a great musician - nothing to do in town except practice!</p>

<p>

I have heard that Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, is particularly good at this. :)</p>

<p>I live in Ann Arbor. There are so many cool things to do besides going to parties and clubs that I actually think it keeps me more focused because I don't feel compelled in the slightest to drink or party for entertainment, which is the time-eater that so many students get sucked into. And while it is expensive to live here, I get by on almost no spending money because there are so many free and inexpensive things put on by the city and by the university. I do feel disappointed from time to time about things I can't participate in because of finances, but Ann Arbor definitely makes up for those things. I really think your academics are going to be in more trouble when you feel like you have no way to entertain yourself but drink. Having other options can keep you out of trouble just as much as it can distract you.</p>

<p>I will be heading off to Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY in four weeks. It is in the middle of nowhere. You drive through many small villages and then down a two lane road for atleast 30 miles before you either hit the Ithaca campus or Ithaca itself. We have Cornell on the other hill which is known to bring good entertainers and home to a lot of frats. </p>

<p>I am excited because there is a small town feeling but the campus is very busy through the weekends. People still go into the Commons (downtown) a lot and even did during our three day orientation. It's only $1.50 for a bus ride down and there is stop on campus. Yes there are parties and stuff but its easy to find stuff to do with friends. </p>

<p>My brother went to Hampden-Sydney College for one semester. His college was literally in the middle of nowhere. He did a lot of partying and smoking because there wasn't a lot to do. He wasn't the college type either.</p>

<p>I live in a small town, and the drug & alcohol scene is crazy...like honestly, there's nothing to do, so people just drink. I chose to go to college close to a city, so I would have a little more options of things to do...I have a friend who goes to college in the middle of nowhere, and the only things to do on the weekends is to go to parties.</p>