Over the summer I did my fair-share of visiting friends at their colleges while home in California. If you know anything about California, its over populated as can be and the schools reflect that. The one school I visited the most was the University of California Riverside, a school with at total enrollment of 22,921. To some of you, that may not seem like a ton but I attend Xavier University which tops out enrollment at about 6,000; just a little smaller than UCR. Throughout the summer I kept finding myself having questions about life at a school like this. So, here are my questions/ observations:
1) Where does the campus start and end?
I have been coming to UCR a couple times a year for 2 years now and there is still half the campus I have yet to see. How does anyone know where to go?! Xavier has an app that tells you where all your classes are and I still kept getting lost. I will from now on pray for every first year on the first day of school at a school with more than 6,000 kids.
2) What is the main part of campus where everyone hangs out?
At Xavier we have the lawn, the area that is pretty much the middle of campus. It is surrounded by the dorms, student center, and main academic building; you will inevitably cross through it once a day. When your dorms are easily two miles from your student center, where does everyone hang out? I couldn’t imagine going outside and not seeing everyone tossing a ball, passing a Frisbee, or any other game. Do you guys have this just in multiple smaller forms?
3) What is the thing that brings the whole school together?
This question is a little more directed at schools like UCR where there is no major sports team. Obviously at Xavier basketball is kind of a big deal and nothing brings strangers together like beating Villanova. If your school doesn’t have big football, basketball, or other sport; what does everyone come out for?
4) How do you make friends in 100+ classes?
I mean yes, I assume you make them just like the rest of us but I’m still confused. In my classes at X, participation is part of our grade and I know that would be impossible in that kind of class. Also, is it weird that the professors don’t know you by name? I feel like the personal bond I’ve made with my professors has helped them to understand my work better, how are your grades affected by this lack of relationship?
5) How long does it take to get anywhere?
This ties into the previous question of getting lost but how long does it take to get places? I once forgot my philosophy book and was able to run back to my dorm and make it back to class in about 3 minutes. Some of your classes are a half an hour away, what do you do in that circumstance? Also, when I get hungry I could not imagine having to walk for ten minutes to get food.
To everyone that goes to a large school, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you don’t get lost, how people hang out, and how you can wait for food. Even through all these things, I know that you love your school and I’m so happy for you. Us small school kids may not get it but you probably think were crazy too.