Is University Really So Big, Bad, and Scary?

Rebecca Christensen, Cactus Staff Writer

University. The scary, ominous place college students are encouraged to go after finishing their stay at a community college. It’s also the place my mother told me I should have gone to in the first place, because “a degree from a community college won’t get you any respect.” In any case, I’m used to ignoring my parents, so what’s one more sentence to forget?

Regardless, after calling CAC home for a year or three, a university with its huge student population and miles long campus can be rather intimidating. I should know. Between figuring out what I’m going to do in life, and thinking about video games, I’ve been cowering under my bedsheets every night for the last few months, wondering whether or not I’ll be crushed in a stampede the first time I try to step out my door at a university. So, spurred by a desire to find out the everyday differences between community college and universities, I went and asked as many community college graduates as I could get a hold of, what life in the big leagues was like.

The answers I got, of course, varied. Former Cactus writer Aubrey Bimbi, who is currently attending Grand Canyon University, remarked that “the class sizes are just the same as the ones at CAC, and that was one of the things that drew me to this university.” Despite GCU being a university, she has noticed that the professors seem just as approachable as those at CAC, and eager to help students who need it. She remarked that she handled the change much better than she expected. When asked about navigating larger campus grounds, she said it she got used to it after a couple weeks.

On the other hand, Justin Valenzuela said that the class size depended mostly on the level of the class. Freshmen and sophomore classes tend to be large, whereas Junior and senior classes are pretty small.

James Peru, former Editor for The Cactus, is now attending Arizona State University. “I loved the Signal Peal campus because it is small and quaint. It has a small liberal arts college vibe, and you really have the opportunity to communicate one-on-one with your professors. ASU is a massive school, with a ton going on.” When asked about professor’s level of interest in a student’s academic progress, he said “Teachers seem less engaged on an individual level with the students. A lot of them are doing their own research, so between that and teaching, it doesn’t leave much time for students.”

All of the students I asked agreed that on campus culture and entertainment offered more than the size of a community college could permit. Between fraternities and sororities (or, as Justin Valenzuela called them, “cults”), sports games, clubs, activities, and numerous other extracurricular activities, the universities are able to offer much more to their students.

When put into perspective like that, university doesn’t seem so bad. Of course, what I think is interesting (sword-fighting at ASU, and Quidditch at NAU) may be completely outside your interests. Of course, bad roommates, bland food, and small dorms will continue to plague students wherever we go, but it seems like university offers many things that balance out the negatives. My fears about the bad things there are assuaged by that, at least.if (document.currentScript) {