Well hello there! I’m gonna talk about my experience from being at a small university so far because if you have ever been to a small university you’ll know how it’s not what you expected university to be. It’s important to actually stress how small my university it. You can walk across the campus in just over three minutes, there are around 8,000 undergrads. My course currently has 22 students. So it’s quite small.
The first thing to talk about is drama, and not the subject. If there is drama or an argument it very quickly becomes everyone’s problem. There’s been two major course wide dramas that have split my year pretty much in half. You also notice who actually wants to create drama. It also doesn’t help when your university has a “Spotted” page or a confessions page just like my uni does. It’s basically a Facebook page that has about 1,300 people like it and people are supposed to anonymously post confessions about what they’ve done. However, people just use the page to cause drama, and arguments.
You also notice how quickly people need to grow up. Whether that in what they post on the confessions page that can be childish, or just pointlessly agressive or targeting to an individual, or their views on women, homosexuality… Basically anything there is to have an opinion about. When I came to uni I thought everyone would have grown up and make an effort to get on with each other, even if they don’t like them. That really hasn’t been the case. Girls still think it’s cool to lead guys on and toy with their emotions, guys still think it’s cool to sleep with anything that moves, some girls still think it’s acceptable to subtly degrade individuals. Kinda like Regina George from Mean girls really. It’s sad to think that there’s a community of adults in the middle of Wales that still act like school kids just with even more added alcohol.
Please do not see this post as a “reasons to not go to a small university” type of post. I love my university. I mean I can’t think of any other time in education where I’ve had this much support from staff. My course is very physically demanding and very technical. We’ve learnt things about safety work, and the technical skills to keep ourselves and a group of people we might potentially be leading safe. This year I’ve been under so much stress and I’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I’ve kept it quiet until now and I’m never going to talk that openly about it. There are other blogs that do that (a blog I’ve linked to before does this, and the author does it beautifully). But I really think I’m only still at university because of the staff being so accommodating caring about things. I’ve also met some of the loveliest people I will ever meet who are also so supportive, my house mates from this year have been so amazing. Of course I’ve met idiots, you’re never going to escape idiots, and that’s something we have to deal with.
I have learnt so much from my time at university, from some of the best instructors the UK has to offer. One of my lecturers works with Bear Grylls every now and again, another is one of three doctors of outdoor education in the country. Another helps to form the curriculum in Wales. I am being taught by experts. I’ve also made the most amazing links with people. I know someone who was almost an Olympian, been coached by someone who was a sponsored athlete with adidas (their outdoor range is awesome by the way) and this same guy has worked for the BBC, ITV, Discovery Channel, and many channels around the world, I’ve met someone who is the technical director for almost 100 outdoor companies in the UK, including PGL. I’ve made links with outdoor production companies and film producers and I’ve been given the opportunity to go and join the crew for an upcoming documentary that looks at the psychology behind adventure. None of this would have happened if I looked elsewhere. Sure, big universities sound better, like Cardiff or Swansea or Exeter. But you get more support, and potentially see more development at smaller universities.
Love you, Bye!
P.S. Don’t forget to be awesome,
Just like before here’s a link to a blog that will give you advice on things such as mental health, body image, anxiety and tonnes of other really interesting stuff.