Whether you graduated from a small high school of around 100 students or less or you were more like me and graduated with closer to 800 students or somewhere in the middle, where you went to high school is probaby going to impact what size college you will ultimately pick. For me, graduating with almost 800 students was something that never really phased me or made me think how big it was until I came to Le Moyne and met people who graduated with less than a 100 people. To me this was baffling. But during my high school years, there was one thing I noticed: while we had a sense of community and family, it was not anything near to what I feel at Le Moyne.
When looking at possible colleges that I wanted to go too, I had it in my head that I wanted a big school with lots of students and lots of things going on just because that is what I had all throughout my years prior and it was what I became accustomed too. I looked at big schools like the SUNY’s and large private universities. All of these schools have a student population much higher than that of Le Moyne. Le Moyne has a student population of less than 3,500 students both on and off campus. It wasn’t until a good friend, who was a Dolphin at the time, offered to give me a first-hand tour of the campus that I saw the small campus on the hill and I fell in love. Walking around on campus, everyone had a smile on their face and just seemed so welcoming. To me, this was important because when a school does tours, the students will have smiles on their faces and seem welcoming to help sell the campus. The difference in my first experience at Le Moyne was this was not a school tour, this was simply a friend showing me around. It was spring day and the leaves were coming back, there was a breeze, and the sun was shining. Now this may not happen often, but it did on this day and it sealed the deal for me.
Going to a smaller school, you get to know everyone, whether you know them by their first name, you recognize them from your class, or they became your best friend. You will see familiar faces everywhere you go and that is something that I love. Going to a high school as big as mine, it was not unusual to see people who you did not know or even recognize just because of how huge it was. Being able to see familiar faces day in and day out is one of the best feelings in the world. You certainly never feel alone on our campus and are surrounded by friends everywhere.
Going to a small school is also easier to navigate. Whether this means finding your buildings, finding your classes, knowing where things are, or even getting into office hours without much trouble. First year and fourth year students will all tell you the same thing: that getting to know your professors and being able to go to office hours is a wonderful thing. Our professors love getting to you and it never hurts when they can put a name to your face. Going to a small school means you can focus more on what you are studying and figure out exactly what you want and who you are.
Going to a small school is something I pride myself in. Even though my high school is probably bigger than our campus, I wouldn’t change a thing. I can get anywhere on campus in five minutes, constantly seeing smiling and familiar faces. I know many professors and will stop and have a conversation with them in the hallways. I just feel the sense of family on campus. This feeling is especially huge during our athletic games, during final exams week when we are stressed, during our annual spring celebration of Dolphy Day, and during every win and loss both on and off the field, the court, or the mound. Small schools are just big families and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Le Moyne College, Class of 2021