Titan Tattler: Bigger is not always better

Published 12:06 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

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By Claire Reinthaler

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — As a rising high school senior, college is at the forefront of my mind. Over the past year, I’ve visited and toured numerous colleges and universities, and the differences among these institutions are still so interesting.

Growing up, I had always imagined college as one thing, the classic big university. But each and every college out there has so much to offer and is so unique in its own way. In this day and age, it’s time to stop the stereotype that you need to go to a big, name-brand school to succeed.

As someone leaning towards a bigger university, I’ve felt the pressure. Not from my friends or family necessarily, but just from the overall consensus of the education system and society that you’re a better student or more successful if you attend a big school. But that is not true. I’ve visited numerous schools, from St. Mary’s College in Indiana, to Elon University in North Carolina, to Oberlin College in Ohio, and all of these small, liberal arts colleges offer such a variety of fantastic academics and study opportunities that you could find at any big university you’d think of going to as well.

Also, with the smaller colleges, you often get a more personalized, student-based experience. Seeing the enthusiasm that students at these small colleges have for their school and the environment there as a whole showed me that the stereotype about small schools is so untrue. I’m now applying to numerous smaller schools that I would have never even considered before after experiencing how passionate students at these schools are. It’s genuinely shown me that big colleges aren’t the only option and that there are so many lesser-known places that are just as viable of an option as the schools you always hear about.

I’ve heard so many of my friends talk about schools that they love but are afraid to go to because they’re not as well known. Intelligent, successful students everywhere face similar challenges because of the pressure to go to a ‘good’ school.

In the end, that only serves to make students feel bad about themselves and not pursue colleges and subjects that they’d otherwise be interested in just to fit the mold. Each student is unique, and we shouldn’t put it in students’ heads that they should give up on their dreams just to fit a stereotype that doesn’t hold any truth.