Last week I took a much needed ‘me time’ as silly as that sounds. I think I’ve come to terms that it is somewhat necessary to take a break. I feel much more relaxed now and have more ideas about what to blog. So hope you all didn’t think I forgot about my blog because my blog is always on my mind.
Initially I wanted to cover this blog topic a while back but I wanted to make sure I was at LMU for a while to share my experience. If you all are new to the blog, I go to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. I love it so far! Prior to LMU I went to De Anza college which was a public community college in San Jose for two years. I can definitely see a big change between a public institution and private. Here are my thoughts about attending a private university:
CLOSE KNIT COMMUNITY
When my tour guide told me LMU was a “tight-knit” community, I did not believe him at all. I was like how can it be a tight-knit community when the campus is so large? I was wrong! Once you start attending classes you’re going to start building a network of friends and they’re going to introduce you to their friends. Suddenly, you walk around campus and start noticing many familiar faces. Everyone here is fun, energetic and has something to offer to LMU.
Make sure to be ‘present’ in class than scrolling on your phone.
It’s super easy to get distracted with notifications popping up every second. The next thing you know, you’re on Instagram the entire class time.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know all the wonderful & talented individuals in my class. I get to meet very cool people on a daily basis which makes my time at LMU very worthwhile. I just think if these are the people I’m going to spend my next entire semester with, I might as well get to know them. You never know who might give you a job, internship or referral so be open to socializing with your peers.
Networking is super important.
GREATER CLASS PARTICIPATION
The average undergraduate class size at LMU is 20 people. This means greater class participation with a small class size. When I went to De Anza college the average classroom size was about 40 to 100 people max. Attendance was a printed sheet of paper handed out to students where they could initial their name. Professors at De Anza didn’t care much if the students were late or absent because they expect very well that it is the responsibility of the student to make up any missed assignments.
But at LMU it is entirely different.
Professors here pay a lot of attention to their students. They know when you’re absent, late and will probably warn you a couple of times if you do not meet deadlines.
I haven’t had any situation where I feel uncomfortable raising my hand up in class and speaking. With a small class size, it’s easier to participate and share ideas.
MORE RESOURCES AND HELP
When I transferred into LMU I was shocked with the amount of help, resources and attention that I was given. I did not get any of this when I was at De Anza.
LMU has a very strong career and development center. I was surprised to see the overwhelming amount of help and detail these career counselors were giving me. They spent so much time going over and making sure my resume was on point and guiding me to resources that could help me narrow down my internship/job search. I was very impressed.
I honestly thought going into LMU that it was just going to be the same as De Anza; figure everything by myself.
I cannot stress to you the amount of resources this private school has given me and the best thing is that they genuinely care about your success and want you to succeed if you put in the hard work.
You can find out more facts about LMU here.
If you are graduating out of high school this is section does not apply to you. If you are currently a student at a community college you probably already know how exhausting and painful the articulation agreements can be.
I feel you and I want to let you know things will be okay IF you make sure you call the school and be very proactive about the transfer credits.
This was a pain in the butt at De Anza College 🙁 We had counselors who said the wrong things, so I took this matter in my own hands.
When I say ‘proactive’ I mean every three months look back at your articulation guide and call the school to see if anything has changed. There is nothing worse then taking a bunch of random classes and find out that none of them were ‘transferable’ credits.
When in doubt, call the university and ask them. They know more than Google. Sometimes the articulation agreements are not updated yet so calling them is your best bet.
TUITION & PRICEY CAFETERIA
With every Private institution there comes the issue of how do I pay this? Will I have money for food and rent after this? Tuition is high even for a good education.
I think no one should ever have to make their college decision based on their income. Education is important and I really hope one day it can be free in America. That would be nice to relieve many students from incurring debts. Hopefully our President can do something about this, but this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Also I think the school cafeteria is over-priced. I think meal plans are a complete waste of money. I’m very grateful and lucky that I live off campus and have a kitchen where I can cook my own food. But if you don’t have a kitchen and you live in a dorm, the meal plan is not a bad option but it is costly.
If finance is a concern think of alternatives before committing yourself to a decade of debt.
LACK OF DIVERSITY
With this troubling economy and sky rocketing college tuition not everyone can afford college tuition. This means you aren’t going to have people from all walks of life attending private university.
This isn’t anything new but LMU is predominantly caucasian. I’ve only met one Vietnamese person so far but other than that I don’t see a lot of diversity here compared to my community college. There was a lot of diversity at my previous public college but that was because tuition was very affordable compared to private tuition.
In my opinion there is no “better” school – it’s just a “better” school in terms of your needs.
I do not believe that a public, private label makes you any different. At the end of the day stay true to yourself and pick the school that matches you and what you want out of your college experience. I can’t help you decide and tell you which schools to rule out over the other. But what I’ve learnt is that going to community college was the best decision I’ve ever made:
#1: My grades were a mess after I dropped out after one semester of Sarah Lawence College. I was in no position to apply to other universities with my current academic status. I enrolled myself to a community college and that is where I started all over. I studied hard to get my grades back up, took the classes I needed to in order to transfer out and now I’m at my last two years at the best private institution in the West Coast. I’m very content with how everything turned out even though I felt so miserable and alone during the process. But I do believe that the harder I work, the luckier I get 🙂
#2: I saved a lot of money in the process. Community college gets a bad reputation and that is a complete MYTH. I enjoyed my time at De Anza College and without De Anza I would not be where I am. People often think community colleges are the last resort and a place where bad students go to. This is not true at all!!! I’ve met some very smart people who I have the honor of calling my friends during my time at De Anza. And now they are at USC, UCLA, Santa Clara University and some Ivy Leagues. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
I hope you all had a great Halloween weekend and enjoyed reading this post.