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City College, Country College

City College, Country College

Ariana addresses the pros and cons of city colleges and country colleges, like Sewanee, and urges students to keep an open mind.

By Ariana Pugh

January 20, 2012

With over 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States alone, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to find one that fits your personality perfectly. With so much enormous variety, it might seem difficult to narrow down exactly which one that is.

One of the most important factors in your school experience can be its location – you’ll get a completely different experience at college in downtown Manhattan than a school in the country twenty miles away.

If You Choose a City School: Your experience will strongly depend on what area of the city you’re located in. If it’s not the best or liveliest area, you might find yourself isolated to your school’s campus. But if your school is in a safe or dynamic neighborhood, you might find that your school has less of a campus culture and adapts more of the general culture of the city – especially true for cities like New York and Boston. City schools also tend to have greater populations of kids who commute or live off campus.

Pros: There’s absolutely no way to be bored here. Walk out the door and find something fun to do 24/7. If you’re not into partying, this is a great place to be where you can have fun without feeling pressured to do anything unsafe.

Cons: Some (not all) schools can feel more anonymous and isolating. Moving to a big city can be a tough transition.

Get more advice on choosing the perfect college.

If You Choose a Country School: You might be miles away from civilization, which can feel isolating in itself. But on the plus side, you’re probably going to have a really strong campus community and culture. Look for fun club activities, sports teams, and campus events for great bonding experiences here. If you’re near a small town, there might be a few hotspots kids have been hitting up for generations – you’re bound to find some awesome traditions and memories here.

Pros: Strong campus unity and fun, plus the great outdoors. Depending on how close to home you stay, you might be able to bring your car without a real problem.

Cons: There’s really no way to get away. When you’re out in the country, it might seem like you’re basically stuck there sometimes.

One of the best things about college is that it’s usually fun no matter where you end up. There are tons of options from downtown Manhattan to the suburbs to the middle of nowhere, so don’t be afraid to look into schools that you don’t initially think will be your “type”. If there’s one thing that’s true about college, it’s that there’s a good time to be found anywhere. You never know what an amazing experience you might have.


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