by Megan Sullivan
Deciding on a college can be one of the most stressful decisions that students have had to make up until this point. Are you a senior in high school? How do you know what you want in a college when you have never been to college? Are you a prospective transfer student? How do you know if transferring is the right decision, and where should you go? Are you a non-traditional student? How do you know if going back to college, likely after some time off, is right for you?
These are all valid questions, and I remember when I was a senior. I felt very overwhelmed by the decision ahead. While all of my friends were making their college decisions somewhat early, May 1st was approaching, and I still didn’t know what I was going to do. I applied to seven schools, toured countless, and frankly, felt lost.
Thankfully, I found UWO. Looking back, if I had to make the decision over again, I would not change a thing. Over the past three years that I’ve been a Titan, not a day has gone by that I have regretted my decision.
So, I’m here to help you. As someone who has been through this, I want you to find the right college for you. I have compiled a short list of some of the reasons that UWO stood out to me in my college-search process, in hopes that it will help you too.
In my opinion, UWO is the exact perfect size. With just over 10,000 students, it falls right into the ‘mid-size’ category of schools. Population-wise, we are actually the third largest UW system school. However, we have one of the smallest campus sizes. This really contributes to the overall community on-campus. If I want to walk from one end of campus to the other, it only takes about 10-15 minutes (although, I have made it in six when I was late to my 8am class).
Besides not having to walk long distances in the cold weather, there is another important perk. When I’m walking through campus, I definitely see familiar faces, but I by no means know everyone. I love this feeling, as there are always opportunities to meet new people and expand your network, but it is far less overwhelming than if I were at a larger school.
This is a huge category for me, and it is frankly hard to list all of the resources that are offered to students in just a few paragraphs. I’ll tell you this: no matter what challenge you are facing, you WILL find someone on campus to help. Even as a junior, I am still learning about resources that we offer!
Another positive about most of these resources — they are FREE. Free is easily every college student’s favorite word. Whether you are sick with a cold, need extra tutoring, a first generation college student who needs some guidance, confused about which classes to take next, want to independently research a particular area, want to start a club, study abroad, or nearly anything else, I guarantee you, there is a place on campus that will help you.
This is something that has constantly amazed me about UWO, because although we are only 10,000 students, we have the resources of a much bigger school.
Classes & Professors
I remember calling my dad my Freshman year and telling him that I felt like a nerd because I started genuinely looking forward to my classes. I have found that the classes I am in are so much more engaging than I ever thought they would be. Coming into college, my idea of classes was that I’d be sitting in a huge lecture hall, with a monotone voice spewing information at me and telling me to read three books and write four papers in one night. Well, I’m happy to be the one to tell you that this could not be further from the truth at UWO.
Your first two years as a Titan, the average class size is only going to be about 35 students. Once you get further into your major and minor courses, the classes then go down to just 22 students. Honestly, in my three years as a Titan, I have not had a bad professor. Above all else, I think that professors are my single favorite thing about UWO. Of course, I have had some professors that I like more than others, but all of them have truly helped me succeed.
There is SO much to do in Oshkosh as a student. On-campus events happen constantly, and I mean constantly! If you are ever bored, just go to Reeve Student Union, I guarantee that you will find something fun happening. Sports games, movie nights, comedy shows, magicians, paint nights, intramurals, the list is endless on what you can do. Even if you have an itch to get off of campus, Downtown Oshkosh is mere blocks away from campus.
With over 180 clubs and organizations, every student is bound to find something that appeals to them. There truly is a place for all students.
Last, but certainly not least, is just how nice everyone at UWO is. Whenever I walk into an office or classroom, I am greeted with smiling faces. No matter if it is students or faculty, everyone is friendly. People even hold doors for you when you are ridiculously far away. Even if I am having a bad day, strangers often turn it around on campus by various acts of kindness!
I know this blog itself did not single-handedly solve all of your problems or confusion, but I hope that it eased your mind in some way. College does not have to be a scary decision, think of it as an exciting time with so many possibilities. Not only were these some of the reasons that I chose to come to UWO, but they are also the reasons that I stayed and have had such a wonderful experience. No matter what school you decide to attend, my biggest advice is to go into your Freshman year with an open mind and try as many things outside of your comfort zone that you possibly can. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself or the Admissions Office, we are here to help. I hope to see you on campus as a Titan soon!