Small schools can have big problems

When choosing colleges, high school seniors often rule out schools that are too big, like Texas State University, which has 33,480 students enrolled. Class sizes at schools like that are often large too, with hundreds in one classroom. This often takes away from an individualized education. It makes it more difficult for students to keep up unless they’re already self-disciplined. It can also be socially intimidating. At large schools it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and can make it difficult to find your niche.

The appeal of a small school like Trinity, with a student population of just 2,506, is its socially and academically beneficial environment. Smaller class sizes allow students to get to know their professors and receive more attention when needed. Socially, familiar faces are everywhere with such a small amount of people.

But after almost four years at this school, I believe that Trinity is too small. I like to call Trinity my problematic fav, a buddy who I love anyway despite its many flaws. When I got back from being abroad last semester, after the thrill of returning to the things I missed wore off, I went back to listing in my head reasons why I don’t like Trinity.

Usually what happens is something small frustrates me — not having enough people to attend an event on campus, not having a club that caters to something I’m interested in, students’ lack of interest in something — that makes me feel angry towards this institution. I think to myself, “At other schools, this would never happen,” or, “This would not be a problem at another school.” I get mad and sad and list off the reasons Trinity sucks and then I remember that it’s provided me with friends, fun times and a whole lot of knowledge, then I remind myself that the grass is always greener on the other side, and that my path is meant to be this way. Blah, blah, blah, I move on with my day. It’s a whole lot like the song “7 Things I Hate About You” by Miley Cyrus, but substitute her middle school fling for Trinity.

As a senior, my time for making friends has almost expired. I say almost because I’ve made some really good friends just last semester. I often find myself running out of people to pester to do things. For example, I need actors to be in my films. There are few that are willing, simply because there are few that exist to begin with. I imagine that at a larger school, there would be a pool of skilled actors begging to be in my films. But instead, I have to end up reusing the same people and catering to their busy schedules. I watch my friends at larger schools throw huge birthday parties or go to events in large groups. I try my best to plan and then rally together the friends I have to do anything fun but it ends up being a group of four, at most. All the clubs and organizations I’m passionate about are small, which makes it difficult to do anything big or make anything big happen. Seeing the same faces can be nice, but when you run out of new faces to see, and the only ones you end up seeing are the ones you’re trying to avoid, more people sounds nice.

Perhaps if there were just one or two thousand more people, my problems would disappear. Or maybe they wouldn’t. There’s no way of knowing because there’s no changing the experience I’ve had here. And I know that I’m privileged to complain about a problem like this one. My hope is that Trinity keeps improving (and growing in size!) for future students.