College towns are charming little neighborhoods where the character of the community is heavily influenced by a college and its culture. In most college towns, as much as 20% of the population is comprised of college students. Understanding the pros and cons of small college towns is important, especially if any such college features on your shortlist.
PRO: You’ll Be Part Of A Fantastic, Tight-Knit Community
Because college towns are so small, everyone knows everyone else (or just about). People tend to be friendlier and go out of their way to welcome and help students from the college. The sense of community is unparalleled.
At school events, it’s not just the students who turn up to cheer and encourage their favorite teams. The whole community turns up to add to the excitement. It’s a great feeling. You’ll never find anything like it in a larger university
If you love the idea of belonging to a community, running into friends around town, a small college town is definitely for you.
PRO: Local Companies Look For Ways To Support The School
One way they do this is by giving preference to graduates from the local college rather than hiring applicants from other universities. When local companies in small college towns are looking for staff, instead of advertising it nationally, they usually get in touch with college professors and ask for recommendations. Your chances of landing a job after graduation are pretty good.
Moreover, within such a small community, there’s a very good chance that your college professors will have connections with top professionals from almost all companies in town. This further increases your chances of getting a job.
CON: There’s Nowhere To Hide
That same sense of tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else may feel great for some people, but if you cherish your privacy, you could find it stifling. You cannot do anything without everybody knowing about it. While it may not bother you too much most of the time, you will find that if you’ve had a fight with somebody or dumped the person you’re dating, there’s no way to hide and avoid a confrontation. It’s going to happen sooner or later.
CON: Your Job Pool Is Much Smaller
Getting a job may be easier in a small college town, but the problem is you won’t find too many job opportunities, at least not in the specific field you are looking for. If you intend sticking around after you graduate, you may have to compromise.
CON: Traveling Can Be More Expensive
Smaller towns have smaller airports and fewer flights out, which means you are less likely to find discounted fares when you want to get out of there. Some college towns are so small they don’t even have an airport. This can be particularly frustrating if you have plans of traveling during your longer breaks.
Is a small college town right for you? It depends on your priorities and what you are looking for. The features of small college towns that appeal to some students may be the same ones that deter you from applying to that college.
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