My high school has around 65 students.

And my senior class makes up about a third of the whole student body. The grade school I went to for over a decade consistently had around 100 kids. It’s definitely a unique experience to go to such small schools but that’s all I really know. I’ve only ever gone to small schools. And I can’t even tell you that smaller schools are better than bigger schools because big schools are so foreign to me. What I can tell you about is the experiences I’ve had in small schools.

Going to a small school means everyone knows everyone, and not just on a first-name basis. You know their birthdays, their siblings’ names, and maybe even their parents’ names. Everyone knows who is doing what extracurricular and who is in what class when. The teachers know of you even before your first day because they taught all your older siblings and they’ll teach your younger siblings too.

Everyone knows that one embarrassing story you have because they were probably all there when it happened. And good luck trying to keep a secret because even if you only tell one person, everyone seems to know about it the next day. But even if you know who spilled the beans, there’s really no way to hold a grudge against someone because you’ll probably be partners with them in class the next day.

But there are some benefits that come from going to a small school. Sometimes knowing everyone in the school can actually be a good thing. Since there are so few students, being in a class with your friends isn’t something that you have to hope for because you’ll end up seeing them in every class and in passing periods. And as for lunch, you don’t really have to worry about where to sit because your whole class has the same lunch period. There’s no stress about finding your class on the first day of school because basically every classroom is in one of two hallways.

But now that I’m a senior and college is just around the corner, I have to come to terms with the fact that my experience at small schools is almost over. Next year, I’ll be attending the University of Nebraska Omaha, which is one of the biggest public colleges in the state. Not only am I making the transition from high school to college but also the transition from a school with less than a hundred kids to a college with over 12,000 students.

Although that seems a little daunting actually writing that down, I’m kind of excited. Usually, I’m so terrified of changes in my life, like the first day of high school or starting a new job, but now I think I’m ready to graduate. I’m ready to make these harsh transitions because, in a way, my education in small schools has benefited me in a way that bigger schools couldn’t. I have my own experiences and my own perspective that is different from most high school students. I don’t have to be afraid of transitioning into a public college because I’m confident that my experience is enough to allow me to be successful for the next part of my life.

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