Every day you’re bombarded with the motto that bigger is better. Bigger checks, bigger houses, bigger closet. But did anyone ever tell you that sometimes smaller is superior? Take, for example, a smaller high school. While it may not receive the same funding or offer the same number of AP classes as a larger school, a small school provides important benefits to its students. Knowing these advantages is not only integral to appreciating your high school but to potentially deciding your preference for college size. Although you may be disappointed that you are not attending a huge school in which Troy Bolton can simply come bursting in the hallway with song, a smaller school has its advantages.
1. Developing Personal Relationships with Teachers
When you attend a smaller school, there is more of an opportunity to develop a close relationship with your teachers. This is great advantage that not every student has the opportunity of. When there are small amounts of kids in a class, the teachers have time to get to know them. Oftentimes there’s more of an opportunity to talk to them informally, to talk about your life and hobbies. They can also tell you more about themselves. This allows students to feel safer in school because now they feel as if they have someone that they can trust and rely on. Having a teacher know you like a friend knows you means that that when it comes time for letters of recommendation, your teacher will have no problem writing about who you are as a person.
2. Leadership Opportunities
One thing that is great about smaller schools is that it allows students to try out various leadership roles. In large schools, it is often difficult to get a leadership position because there are usually 20 other kids running for the same position. When the votes are cast, the most popular or well-known students win, which doesn’t give the shy kids very many opportunities to try to develop their leadership abilities. In a small school, however, clubs are usually smaller and only a few people run for leadership positions, which provides more opportunities for all students.
Speaking from personal experience, going to a small school really helped me develop my leadership skills. Since the clubs at my school have about 20-30 members, leadership positions were somewhat easier to acquire. I had previously gone to a big middle school and was pretty shy, so I never had the opportunity to try out a leadership position and see if I would be good at it. But going to a small high school helped me attain positions where I was able to cast off my shyness and develop leadership abilities.
3. Getting to Know a Variety of People
When you go to a school with thousands of other kids, it is very rare that you will know every single person that you see. When you are walking down the halls, you will probably know about 4-5 out of the 20 faces that you see — and there’s nothing wrong with that, But wouldn’t it be nice to walk down the halls and wave to at least 15 of those faces? The feeling of community and interconnectedness is one of the perks of attending a small school. A small school allows students to talk to various types of people and allows them to come together. Of course, this is possible at any school, but it’s more easily facilitated at small schools.
While students at a small high school may not have the same opportunities as students at a larger school, there are definite advantages. At a small school, you can feel like part of a community and, at the same time, stand out from the crowd. Bigger isn’t always better. Before condemning your small high school as lame and boring, consider the advantages that it’s actually giving you.