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Ups and Downs of Life on a Small Campus

There are some challenges that come with going to a school as small as K, such as the fact that there is only one cafeteria on campus. Colleges are not known for having the best dining options in the world. They tend to range from terrible to pretty good at best. And of course you tend to get sick of any food service if forced to eat it multiple times a day for a whole year. However, the fact that we have one place to dine does not help the situation, despite the fact that they try their best to mix things up constantly and actually have pretty good food (I have always enjoyed meals, even as a vegetarian). Plus, K does have a place to get sandwiches or pizza if you really do not want to go to the cafeteria.

Something worse than the limited meal options is sickness on campus. The way I like to think of it is “disease trap”. Inevitably, someone on campus will come down with some sort of cold, fever, or stomach bug. Once that happens, the illness will not leave campus until everyone leaves for break. It will systematically work its way through every group of students until most people have contracted it at some point. This can last from a week or two to several months. I sometimes think that it morphs slightly as it travels throughout the student body, so that once the original strain has run its course the slightly differing one will begin to afflict everyone all over again. Of course this can be easily avoided with usual hygiene and avoiding sick friends like…well, like the plague.

Another issue that concerns some people is the idea of the “K Bubble.” I cannot deny that it exists, as this is a primarily academic setting. Some people can get stuck in a studying rut and never leave campus. I have never experienced this personally because I take advantage of the many opportunities to get off campus (such as several great restaurants nearby, the movie theater that serves food during movies, and, my personal favorite, the climbing gym). However, there is definitely a tendency to remain on K’s campus, especially during midterms and finals.

Having discussed a few things that have been the greatest challenges living on a small campus, I turn to the things I love about it. Firstly, I can roll out of bed five minutes before class and still make it there early. Good luck doing that at a large university where it takes fifteen minutes (at least) to walk to class. In fact, the general closeness of everything is great. The farthest I have to walk on a regular day is from the top of the hill from my dorm to the bottom of the hill to Hicks Center. Secondly, I rarely can walk anywhere without running into someone I know. I never have to worry about going to dinner by myself because I will always find somebody that I know when I get to the cafeteria. It is a small community here, but definitely a close one. Since we are in such close proximity to each other we tend to know a lot of people. With a smaller campus comes smaller classes, more opportunities for underclassmen to have larger roles in clubs and sports, and all-over, a great sense of community. The upsides to attending a small school more than make up for its drawbacks. 

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