Secrets of Small College Life in a Big City

Picture this.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle energizing a large city area, sits a small college. We’re talking a no more than 5,000 people kind of small.

At this small school, students go about their days attending classes, finishing up homework, chugging coffee, etc.; the same scenes portrayed on any other college campus.

Programs by different clubs are held, sporting events are lively, resident assistants go on rounds; the life on the small campus goes accordingly despite the constant rush hour of the urban environment surrounding it.

What’s different then?

How does a small college in a larger metropolitan area differ from both large and small schools in more rural areas? More importantly, how do these schools not only stand out in an already colorfully broad atmosphere, but attract the eyes of the college-seeking world at the same time?

Here are some uncovered “secrets” that have proved to be major benefits at smaller colleges located in large, urban areas.

Getting Found in the Shuffle

At big universities, it is easy to get “lost in the shuffle” at times, and not feel a great sense of community from within. The same feeling can be said for living in large cities, where the amount of people seems endless. The plus to attending a small college in a large city is that somewhere in the shuffle YOU are found. The choice to become involved in the already thriving school and community spirit, or just do your own thing and escape into the urban life is yours to make.

Activities Galore

The life on a small college campus in a metropolitan area is guaranteed a life chock full of entertaining, free-time activities. Take your pick from multiple movie theaters, concert venues, places of dining, comedy clubs, or what have you, to fill your weekends, and have a much deserved break from your studies. If you don’t want to venture off into the city, stay on campus and engage in the smaller events and programs offered by the college. The opportunites are infinite.

Easy Maneuvering from A to B on Campus

Troubles a lot of big college campuses run in to is getting from A to B, aka usually one end of campus to the other, in a reasonable amount of time. Small colleges in rural areas can also run into this same problem because if the campus takes up the entire location, this means the buildings are spread all throughout the town.

The difference at small colleges in larger cities is that the campus buildings are closer to each other. Sometimes, the campus is even sectioned off within the city. Either way, transportation is a hundred times easier. Especially with the wide variety of options such as driving your own car, taking a subway and/or train, catching a cab, or just walking.

All of these “secrets” would not be valid unless they had some proof to back them up. Check out the following list of some United States colleges that remain small in numbers, but sit pretty in some of the largest cities in the country.

The following list of colleges is provided by The College Solution blog by Lynn O’Shaughnessy titled “30 Liberal Arts Colleges In or Near Cities.

  • Barnard College, New York City
  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, near Philadelphia
  • Drew University, Madison, NJ, near New York City
  • Goucher College, Towson, MD, a Baltimore suburb
  • Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, near New York City
  • Simmons College, Boston, MA
  • Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Wheaton College, Norton, MA, near Providence, RI
  • North Central College, Chicago suburb, IL
  • Lake Forest College, Chicago suburb, IL
  • Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Fisk University, Nashville, TN
  • Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
  • Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
  • University of Richmond, Richmond, VA
  • Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR
  • Mills College, Oakland, CA
  • Occidental College, Los Angeles
  • Reed College, Portland, OR
  • St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM
  • St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, CA (San Francisco Bay)
  • Whittier College, Whittier, CA. Los Angeles suburb
  • Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

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Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson is a junior at North Central College in Naperville, IL pursuing degrees in journalism and interactive media studies. When she is not in the classroom, she balances her time playing for her school’s softball team and working at a local frozen yogurt shop. Jordan enjoys watching movies, thumb wars, and occasional trips into the windy city.
Jordan Johnson

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