Welcome to A Quirky Twist’s college advice for freshman! Today’s post is about class size and if it truly matters. Since I go to UNC a large school my advice is coming from my experiences there. At a large public university, it’s virtually impossible to escape large lectures or smaller classes. So today, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on lectures versus smaller classes and benefits and disadvantages of both. Again this list won’t hold true for everyone, but I do think it’s helpful to share. I have 4 thoughts on class size and if it matters.
- FIRST SEMESTER YOU PROBABLY WON’T GET TO CHOOSE
I remember after my freshman year orientation I made a mock schedule of the classes I wanted to take (I still do that now). On the day of my registration I either got none of the classes I wanted or just one. The red X’s felt like the end of the world, they still do now even thought there are less of them. The point being freshman year you’ll more than likely be stuck in a lot of large gen-ed lectures that you didn’t want to take. You also might have freshman seminars or a required smaller English class, for the most part though you’ll probably be in lectures.
- LARGE LECTURES ARE GOOD IF…
If you don’t mind being taught mainly off of a PowerPoint, it depends on the lecturer for how much they rely on PowerPoint but most large lectures have one. They’re good if you’re bad at getting to class on time, sure the teacher and a few people at the back might see you as long as you don’t try to sit at the front you really won’t disrupt much. You’re less likely to get called on, some teachers still try and they’re either met with awkward silences or an answer they weren’t looking for. The downside to large lectures is that you don’t get to know your professors or classmates easier.
- SMALL CLASSES ARE GOOD IF…
If you like discussion, the majority of my smaller classes have been discussion based with some lecture mixed in. You get a good opportunity to know your classmates and teachers better. In smaller classes your teachers are more likely to give you one-on-one time if it’s a project based class or future recommendation letters. The downside to small classes is that you can get called on often, and you’ll disrupt the class if you’re late. Also, sometimes in smaller classes you can get the teacher to push back dates if the majority of the students feel unprepared.
- IN THE LONG RUN IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER
You’ll still learn the information you need to in classes of any size as long as you try. You’ll still get a grade and a degree or hour requirement checked off. You’ll always have classes you like or don’t like regardless of the size. In college classes are all about the effort you put in: more effort tends to yield a better return in the form or grades or future contacts.
I hope this will help you when you start your first year in the fall. In case you missed last week’s post on extracurriculars you can find it here. Also if you know anyone in the future class of 2021 who needs some advice on college share this post with them. Another college advice post will be up next Tuesday! If you liked this post leave a comment down below!