Small colleges, large growth

This past week my wife and I attended our daughter’s senior project presentation. She did a marvelous job, showing equal parts poise and command of her material, to well-mask her nervousness. Her professors thought so as well giving her an A on her presentation.

Our daughter attends a small college with about 900 students. She has truly come into her own here, knowing her professors and advisors and having a terrific cadre of friends and associates. She has been involved with several campus groups and is now co-captain of the climbing team.

She has done well making the honor roll each semester, even as she modified her majors, minors and concentrations. She is her own person and diplomatically and eloquently pushes back when she does not care for every part of your argument. She has become a keen observer of protecting our environment and civil rights.

We are so very proud of the young woman and person she has become. As high schoolers and their parents look at colleges and universities, I would encourage them to find the right fit for them. Maybe a big place will be the right fit, but for some, they may get lost. For my daughter, a small college has been profound. She has grown immensely.


24 thoughts on “Small colleges, large growth

    • Thanks Roger. It was wonderful to see her do this. And, we had fun taking her friends out dinner with us afterwards. Just to hear their banter was a delight.

  1. As one who attended a small college and a large university for graduate work, I can attest that the former was far and away the better spot — for me. You are right, each person must find this or her best fit, but the small college offers so many advantages and the faculty at small colleges are almost always there because they love teaching. And large universities still stress publication and research. Freshmen and Sophomores often get the graduate student who has other priorities.
    Your daughter found her perfect fit and it seems to have worked out well for her. Tell her “congratulations” from one of her Dad’s blogging friends.

    • Jill, many thanks. She did better than I would have, especially at that age. We knew she was nervous, since she was last of eight presenters, but she did well. Keith

      • Speaking in public has never been my strong suit. I used to have to make a presentation to the Board of Directors every month and it was the worst part of my job, even though they were all great guys and very supportive. I stuttered so much that my presentation always took twice as long as it needed to. I’m still like that.

      • Public speaking is the bane of many. I did a lot of it, but would never profess to be great at it. I was happiest when it was over.

  2. It is indescribable what parents feel at such moments. You see your daughter’s life repeating in moments. It is such a blessing to see how our kids have developed and how they took responsibility for their lives.
    Congratulations to your daughter, Keith!!

    • Thanks Erika. It was indeed as you describe. As I mentioned in my other comments, it was a joy to see her and then spend time with her and her friends. What I did not mention to Roger, seeing her and her beau holding hands walking in front of us was a thrill.

  3. Note to Readers: I went to two colleges in my career, one a community college for a year, and the rest at a arge university. The first one allowed me to get my feet wet. I had some very good professors and some not so great. At the university, the quality of professors was more consistent and I had some excellent ones. What made the university experience enjoyable is finding smaller groups of friends and associates – in my major, in a fraternity, in the larger school of business. I think without such groups, one can get lost at a big place.

  4. Note to Readers: Another example. My youngest son started at a larger university and migrated to a smaller college of a similar size to his sister’s. He flourished there as well. He knew his professors well and they nurtured him.

  5. Dear Keith,

    The advice I give young peoples who are starting out their careers is for them to connect with a mentor. I’m convinced that better organizations like law firms would be better served if new hires were partnered with a mentor.

    There is a lot to learn which is not taught at most universities. At a small college, the young person gets the added benefit of lots of mentors/ coaches who help them develop into confident young adults.

    Congratulations to your daughter for having delivered an outstanding presentation as her senior year project. It is the best reward for parents to see their young ones flourish.

    A book that I recommend reading for all young peoples, is Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming.”

    Hugs, Gronda

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