Pros and Cons of Large College Towns

college towns

Flickr user Alex Lorenz

When going through your college choices, one of the things you should decide is if you prefer to live in a small town or a big city (or somewhere in the middle). There are pros and cons to each. If you’re considering large college towns, here are some things to keep in mind.

Pro: Public Transportation

If you’re from a small town, you may not have the best public transportation, if you have it at all. However, a big city, like New York City or Salt Lake City, has great transportation options that are affordable. Even if you can’t drive or afford a car, you can get the places you want to—whether it’s to see a movie, explore the town, or get to the airport to take a trip home.

Con: Cost of Living

While public transportation will most likely be affordable, the overall cost of living won’t always be. Increased rent is one example that could cost you, especially if the school doesn’t have enough dorms for the students. You’ll want to factor in the cost of living before you accept an offer from a big city college.

Pro: Plenty of Things to Do

Large college towns often have quite a lot of things to do, for relaxing, education, and culture. They have museums, parks, theater, concerts, events, libraries, and more. You’ll never run out of educational or cultural experiences.

Con: Distractions

Even though “things to do” is definitely a pro, they can also serve as a con. Each big city or town has plenty of distractions. If you’re going to one of these areas, make sure you don’t head out too often or it could impact your grades, homework, and study.

Pro: Career Resources

A big city usually has more jobs, so it’s easy to say that you’ll have more career resources available at your fingertips. You have the chance to make some network connections while you’re there, perhaps leading to a job straight out of college. You’ll also have access to more internships, volunteer opportunities, and potential career-building classes with nearby businesses.

Con: Miss Out on the Pros of a Small College Town

It goes without saying that if you go to a big city, you will miss out on all the pros of a small college town. However, it’s important to take those into account too. For example, a college in a city is less likely to have a football team or strong sports program. It may also not have many cultural activities or groups on campus, including fraternities or sororities.

These are only a few pros and cons when it comes to going to a college in a big city. If you’ve never really lived in one, it’s important to visit and perhaps stay overnight to really get a feel and know if it’s for you. Don’t keep your visit to just the school either. Explore the city and discover if it’s what you want in a college town.

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