When I was a sophomore in community college all of my focus was on where I would finish my Bachelor’s degree. I knew I wanted to stay in-state but was open to moving away from my hometown. My choices? University of Central Florida where my mom received her Bachelor’s. It was an hour away from home in Orlando but I wasn’t feeling it. University of Florida where everyone on my dad’s side attended but I always considered myself to be the dark horse in the family. University of North Florida which was both by the beach AND the city. It was a two-hour drive from home which was a nice distance without being too far. I set up tours on campus at Florida and UNF but the day I stepped foot at UNF, I knew I was sold!
Perk #1- Smaller University= Smaller Campus
When I toured Florida, I felt completely overwhelmed. Campus was all over the place. UNF is located on a nature preserve 20 minutes away from the city and 5 minutes from the beach. You can drive around the campus on one road which loops around making it easy to find your buildings for class. Everything was right where I needed it on campus and it felt homey to me.
Perk #2- Smaller Class Sizes
My largest class at UNF was Statistics which had about 50-55 people total in class. With small class sizes, professors gave us more attention in each of our classes. That came in handy when applying for internships my final semester and I needed recommendations for future jobs. It helped to know the professors in each class and take advantage of their connections in the industry.
Perk #3- You Know Most if Not All of Your Classmates
Besides my Stats class, I knew almost everyone in my major through my classes. Because UNF is pretty small, you get to know a lot of your classmates. My husband also went to UNF and was in the Brooks College of Health for Nutrition. He knew almost all of his classmates and even still keeps in touch with professors in the program.
Perk #4 – Our Football Team is STILL Undefeated!
Okay this one is a bit of a joke at UNF but we don’t have a football team. They have a shirt in the bookstore-that I proudly bought-that says “UNF Football” on the front and “Still Undefeated” on the back. So when all of my family members get into who has the best football team I am sure to bring up that we are still undefeated.
Bonus Perk…The University is Growing Each Year
When I graduated in 2012, our basketball team wasn’t very good and they were tearing down the old gym Now in 2016, our basketball team has been to March Madness and there is a new state of the art gym. UNF has grown so much in the last 4 years since I was a student there and that makes me so proud. I am thankful for the fact that I went to a smaller university. I got so much more out of my experiences. Here’s a little throwback of Judd and I jumping for joy at our UNF graduation. Swoop!
Did you go to a smaller university? What was your favorite thing about it? Share with us!