As you may or may not know, I attend a small liberal arts university of 1,500 in Georgetown, Texas called Southwestern University. Every time I tell people that, their responses are 1) Gross, or 2) Why? (usually some combination of the two). However, I believe that small schools like Southwestern get a bad rap, especially from all you big name school students that think you’re so cool because you have more students in your History lectures than we do in our entire class, and bacause your school, “has more than three sports total.” I’m here to try to convince you that going to a small school doesn’t suck as bad as you think, but bear with me, because honestly? This article is a stretch.
I’ll start with a category that I get the most questions about from friends: what is Greek life like at a small school? Since I’m not a girl (legally), I’ll just focus on fraternity life.
I’m a member of Phi Delta Theta, along with 53 other brothers, so I have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about when it comes to small college fraternity life because it is literally my life. There will be 3-4 fraternities and 3-4 (official) sororities at a small college, so pickings will be pretty slim for rushees on both sides. I was lucky enough to make one of the best choices of my life thus far in becoming a Phi, and hopefully you’re able to say the same about your fraternity.
In a small college fraternity, you will know all 40-55 of your brothers better than you know some of the friends you had growing up due to your chapter’s size. You will have a mix of awesome and batshit crazy alumni. Your house won’t be as nice as your Kappa Sig at Ole Miss friend’s, but it will carry an inexplicable charm about it, even though three toilets don’t work and there’s black mold in the study room that may or may not have given some pledge a potentially life-threatening disease. Almost every brother will be either a competing athlete or an intramural fiend (or a mix of both). There will be a lot of rivalry between the houses, especially in intramurals, but in the end it’s all one big community; if you’re Greek at a small school — especially a liberal arts school — you’re pretty much scum to all the super-lib GDIs. So if you’re going to attend a small university, rush a fraternity. If you don’t, your college experience will more than likely suck.
From what I’ve heard, your experience with sports at a D3 school varies depending on where you go. Most D3 athletes are either kids from huge 6A schools that never got the chance to play a huge role, or kids from 1A and 2A schools who were men among boys. The football games — if your school is big enough to have a football team — are played in small stadiums in front of crowds ranging from 40 people to 3,000. Why watch UT play Notre Dame at DKR when you can drive 25 minutes up I-35 and watch the Southwestern Pirates take on Hardin-Simmons University in front of packed stands at good ole’ Birklebach Field? It’s a lot cheaper, but the football is a tiny bit worse, so it’s definitely a give or take situation. However, If you pick the UT game, you’re an idiot because Birklebach gets lit as hell, plus you get to see your boy roam the sidelines expertly holding a clipboard. Most of the athletes quit after their first year, so it’s a pretty big deal if you stay and play all four years. Once football season is over, there will be NOTHING going on besides house parties. Hope your campus has a Chili’s nearby.
Like I said, Southwestern has 1,500 students total. I’m just going to list pros and cons for this part:
– You get to know a lot of people on a personal level because you literally see them every day.
– Most small schools are known for being academically rigorous, so if you’re smart, you meet a lot of people that are on your same intellectual level. If you’re not smart, you just look like a dumbass.
– Since many of these small schools are great academic schools, most of said dumbasses (who are usually douchebags) fail out or transfer, which gets rid of the annoying people.
– If you’re moderately attractive, you’ll most likely be sought after by the opposite gender, because OH MY GOD THERE ARE NO ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE AT SMALL SCHOOLS.
Here’s where it gets good:
– Everyone knows everything about everyone. If you mess up once, it’s over.
– As I said above, get ready to lower your standards because everyone is ugly. No exceptions. Even me.
– Get ready to argue about anything, because if you tie your shoes wrong, you’re invading a safe space somehow.
– If you’re Greek, you’re an awful person and a rapist/sexist/ableist asshole who is ruining our country — no matter what.
– If you’re male, you’re an awful person and a rapist/sexist/ableist asshole who is ruining our country — no matter what.
– If you’re a white male, you’re Satan-Hitler.
– Bad food.
All in all, small schools have their strengths and faults. You may have read this article and said, “Man, that was depressing. This dude’s life sucks,” and you’re 50% right. Half the time, attending a small school blows, but the other half it’s actually pretty fun. If you’re an athlete trying to decide if it’s worth it to take a chance and try to play at a small school, give it a shot. If you don’t like it, you can always transfer. If you’re just a student trying to decide between TCU and Northeastern State University Tech in Asscrack, Kansas, for the love of GOD just go to TCU.
Unless you’re a hot girl; then you should come to Southwestern. .
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