No matter who you are, choosing the right college is a difficult decision. Just one of the many factors the prospective college student has to take into consideration is location. Where will you be happy spending the next four years of your life which are supposed to be the best yet? Sure, a city is full of excitement and energy and it’s obvious why students are intrigued by the thought of pursuing a degree in a big place full of opportunity. But small town schools can offer a certain kind of charm that make them worthy of a second look. Here are 5 reasons why small towns offer a more authentic college experience:
1. Everyone’s a student
When living in a big city, you’re thrust into the real world…which you’ll find is full of all kinds of people in various stages of their lives. The great thing about college towns is that virtually everyone is a student, and they’re all going through the same stage in their life as you are. It makes for a great environment for you to grow into an adult without the intensity of the real world pressing down on you quite yet.
2. People actually stay on weekends
Often times big city schools are called commuter schools. This is because a large majority of the student population will head out on weekends either to go home because they live close, or they’ll leave to get away from the city for a few days. The great thing about a small town college is, well…unless you grew up on a farm in surrounding towns, home is probably a good 3+ hour drive away if not a plane ride. This means that everyone stays in town for the weekend which makes for a really fun environment when class is finally out on Friday. You may be stuck in the middle of nowhere, but you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with 20,000+ college students, which makes for all the difference.
3. Close community
Everyone cares a little more in a small town. Professors make more time to work with you, businesses in town are more than willing to partner with your organization for fundraisers and people just seem to invest more time in each other. These kinds of meaningful connections are often lost in the hustle and bustle of big city life.
4. Football games aren’t just football games
In a city, there are a number of different events happening on any given Saturday that take people’s attention away from college football games. In a small town, football is everything. People are tailgating by 10 a.m., local businesses close early and the streets are jam-packed with people from surrounding areas flooding in for the game. If the home team wins, the town is alive with energy and if they lose, don’t be surprised if the following week is a little quiet. Football is the heart of small college towns and it is a huge part of the experience.
5. You aren’t there forever
Yes, living in a small town in the middle of nowhere is not for everyone. But there’s good news – you don’t have to stay forever! If the rush of the big city lifestyle is the one for you, you can head out right after graduation. But the charm a small town offers for the college experience is unbeatable and is truly one of a kind. You don’t have to stay there forever, but it will be the best choice you could make for the most fun 4 years of your life.