When it comes to choosing a college, there are several different factors that go into the decision itself. Some of the main factors are usually academic programs, cost and the size of the school. While all of these are very important and should be taken into consideration, I found that there was another factor that held importance to me. This was the location.
Growing up with an older sibling, I had been on many college campuses. I was dragged to all the tours and open houses when my older brother was looking. Then, later on after he finally chose his school, I was dragged to every visit my parents made to see him throughout his four years there. Since my brother had chosen a city school, this meant a drive into the city every couple months. It was through these visits to see my brother and the walks around campus that I realized I had no desire to live in the city. Sure, it was a nice campus and school, but it was just not the environment I wanted.
When it came time for me to visit schools for myself, I still held this attitude toward city schools. My parents, of course, still wanted me to consider some, but even after visiting them again, I knew they were not the right option for me. So, I finally chose a college in a more rural area, and as I finish up my first year, I am still very happy with my choice.
There is a long list of aspects that I love about the area my school is located. But what I really love about going to a rural area school is being able to go outside and sit in the grass or under the trees. Now I understand that some city schools give you this option too, but it doesn't quite have the same effect. There are many days where doing work in my dorm or in the library is not an option, mostly due to distractions around me. So I often choose to go outside and do work. It's nice to be able to get fresh air and relax in nature.
Something else I enjoy is how quiet it is outside. When I'm trying to escape distractions inside, going somewhere outside on my campus usually solves this problem due to the lack of noise. The first break I came home from college, I met up with some of my high school friends. My friends that had chosen city schools said that coming home for them was weird due to the lack of background noise. Since the city is usually full of the sounds of cars and horns, being back home was a different experience for them. That aspect of city living is definitely something I personally did not want to experience. I love how quiet and serene my campus is.
Being a college student, it is important to be able to take a break every once and a while. There are many times where I just need to step away from my work in order to be more productive later. What my roommates and I often find ourselves doing is going for drives in the countryside. It is a very relaxing activity to drive with the windows down and enjoy the scenery around us. I honestly don't think this is something I would really be able to do if I lived in the city, or at least I wouldn't get the same effect. Whether we are driving past cornfields or forests, going on long drives is something I enjoy about the area I live in.
Now everyone's preferences are different, as are everyone's college experiences. There are many people who enjoy city life and what it has to offer. However, I love the campus I live on and the rural area that surrounds it. It has definitely added to my first year of college and shaped the great experience I've had. As I am almost at the end of my freshman year, I can say that I am happy I chose a rural area college.
Lead Image Credit: Rebecca LaPera