So I told you I went to my daughter’s college orientation at Penn State last week. It’s a massively huge school. I’m sure I have the number wrong but I want to say 30,000. Luckily for her she’s starting in summer with a smaller group and can adjust that way first before everyone arrives. But that reminded me … when I was applying to schools, my parents took me to a counselor who asked, big school or small school. And I said big. I want to get lost in the crowd. I then took a quiz (personality maybe) and discovered that no, I wanted a small school where I could thrive and stand out. Who knew? My youngest daughter wants Big 10 Football which means huge. My oldest went to school where my husband and I did, a small school. My husband says if he had to do it over again he’d love to go to a huge football school. So this all got me thinking. Do you like being a big fish in a small pond? Or a fish lost in a huge pond?

30 thoughts on “People”

  1. I would say a smaller school. I Loved the college I went to and it was on the smaller side.

  2. small fish in big pond. But I do and did have a problem with the huge freshman classes. I don’t know how you learn anything with 40 or more students.

  3. I went to a smaller school and it was the perfect school for me. I don’t think I would have done well at a really big school.

  4. I went to a medium size school. Back then they had about 22,000. Today they have about 28,000. I’d still pick that size. Oldest is at a school about the same size. Middle is at a school where there is about 60,000. That is just crazy to me but she loves it! Middle is at a Big 10 school and she already has her football tickets.

  5. I grew up in the country and had a very small elementary/high school class, so I started at community college. Saved money and got me used to bigger classes. Transferred in to A&M as a junior, still culture shock, but it was friendliest big school that I visited.

  6. I got a late start on college so I went to the community college and wouldn’t transfer until I had my associates. Then I went to a huge school, Texas A&M. I liked being lost in the crowd, it was a nice change not to have focus on me like in the community college and I was able to solely focus on my studies. A&M is a bit different from most large schools, even though there are thousands of students there is still that all for one, one for all mentality. To this day when I meet other Aggies it’s like we are already past that first acquaintance hurdle because we have that in common.

  7. This is where my two college degrees come in handy: I have done both! I went to a small university for my first college degree and a PAC 10 (now PAC 12) school for my second. I think it also depends on what you are looking for. For my first degree, I wanted to be able to try different things and have relationships with professors (ie where the prof taught the class and not a TA). For my second degree I felt confident in myself that I could always seek out profs if I needed to (I know this all sounds funny, but I swear no funny business took place at either). It was a lot better at the PAC 10 school once I got into my program because it was a very selective program. I think I tended to be more of an introvert for my second degree whereas for my first degree I was forced to be extroverted (I was in a sorority, for example). So, the long winded explanation is both have their pros and cons for that time in my life. I do tend, anyway, to be very introverted.

  8. I work at a smaller university and love it. I know that our professors are able to give the students more attention and are readily available to our students. And, no I’m not one of those professors but a deparment secretary.

  9. I was small fish in big pond – Big 10 school (Purdue) – but if I had to do it over I would prefer big fish, small pond. I tried to get my kids to do that but the 3 older ones all went to the University of Minnesota. Oldest just completed her masters degree at a small college & understood what I was talking about. It didn’t hurt that she recieved the MSW Leadership award from her college & MSW Student of the Year from the state.

  10. My daughters both went to small colleges. They both got academic scholarships. For my oldest I just had to pay what it would have cost to send her to a state college. That was plus the scholarship. My youngest got the same amount in scholarship money, but hers cost an additional $21,000 per year. I would do it all over again for them. For graduate school both went to large colleges. My youngest didn’t really like it. My oldest is now at Ohio State getting her PHD. She loves it. My son went to the large state school. He absolutely loved it. It depends on the person. I never went to college, but if I did I would have picked a small college. :cloud9:

  11. i went nights for 10 years to get my b.s. in accounting. son’s horror story-we drove to his choice-small school. 2 cars loaded. go to his dorm room assigned and knock on door-heard noises. his “roommate” was a senior who was in the middle of “his afternoon delight” with his girlfriend. there was a mixup and nothing to be done to change. my son spent that semester on the floor in a friend’s room because of the girlfriend. my son was very shy and didn’t want us to make waves. but i was furious-money for room so he could sleep on floor. they heard about it after!! lol

  12. My oldest daughter graduated from Penn State. She lived off campus though and I think she missed out on a lot. She had to also work but she also has had no problems getting jobs. She did do a lot with Thon – danced for 48 hours! It’s the largest charity of it’s kind! And she belonged to a lot of clubs which I think makes them all well rounded students. And go Nittany Lions.

  13. If {I had to do it all over again I would go to a big football school. I went to a NJ state college with a population of about 10,000. It was a suitcase college, many went home on the weekend Oldest daughter went to Indiana University, about 45,000 students. She loved being part of the crowd. Younger DD just graduated form James Madison University, with about 15,000 students, It was perfect for her.
    good luck to your DD. And where ever you go, you will always find a PSU grad to say to..We are…Penn State!

  14. I would have much preferred the bigger school where I didn’t know everyone and they didn’t know me. I like having a small group of friends to hang out with.

  15. I started at a smaller school but when a faculty member decided that I couldn’t have a boyfriend and be a good student, large became important. Unfortunately for me, he became an instructor at the larger university where I went the next year and I STILL had to deal with him. By then I was married and the instructor changed his tune!

  16. Big Ten schools are great! There is nothing like Big Ten football games in the fall. Go Buckeyes! (and yes- the number of students at Ohio State is more than Penn State- so I have to vote for the large campus:)

  17. Neither myself or my siblings went to college because to my parents, who never went to high school and only graduated from the 8th grade before going to work, higher education was a high school diploma. By the way, my mother was the only one in her family to graduate from the 8th grade, all of her siblings left school after the 3rd grade to start working. This was such a long time ago in this countries history. I’m blessed I didn’t go to college, I gained more through life experiences.

  18. I went to a big school (24k enrollment in 1989-1993) as I came from a small high school (64 people in my graduating class). I only had two huge classes in four years. The rest of my classes were no larger than any of those from high school. I loved getting lost among the throng on campus and making friends from all over the country.

  19. I started out at ND State (NDSU – Go Bison) which is a fairly large school. I was into several clubs and a sorority. I loved it, but didn’t thrive too well in the classes that had 400+ students. I did better where I was in the classes that pertained to what I was majoring in which were less than 50. I transferred to a smaller college after I took some time off and after I had my daughter. I did really well there – basically towards the top of my classes for pretty much everything. Class sizes were about 35 students per class so more one on one time with the teachers. So to answer your question, I guess big fish in a little pond which kind of surprised me. I would have thought the other way around would have been more my style. I really wish I would have done things the other way around honestly…gone to the smaller college and then to the larger college. Oh well.

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