A smaller campus is better
For some the size of OBU can be a bit off putting, 2,000 students and an average class size of about 20? It just seemed too small for me. In fact, OBU is half the size of my high school. It seemed like it was too small but during my month here I’ve learned that smaller is better and I can’t see myself anywhere else.
The small class sizes just make everything about the university seem so much more personal and I feel like I’m getting everything that I can out of each class because the professor can focus on us as individuals more than just a mass of hundreds of students that they’re teaching to. You don’t get that at other schools, I have a friend going to Boston University and her Introductory Chemistry lecture is 200 people in a giant lecture hall. The largest classes you’ll have at OBU are probably going to be your Old Testament and New Testament Survey class, mine is 50 in a regular classroom. I just get happy when my professors know my name. Like hey, that’s me and you actually know who I am, instead of just being a number in their class, like at larger universities. Being able to get to know your professors on an individual level and build relationships with them is an amazing thing about the intimate class sizes.
Also another cool thing about the size of OBU is the number of people on your hall, I live in the basement of WMU and we’ve just really clicked and we’re getting along great. There are maybe 30 girls on my hall and the small size makes it a lot easier to build a community with a smaller amount of people on your hall. While we aren’t crazy like Agee, we’ve built a good support system and are developing relationships. My RA, Abbie Poole, takes time out of her week to lead a bible study for us and invest in each of us and I love that we can all come around once a week and just detox and enjoy each other’s company. Part of building that community is just leaving your door open and going out of your way to meet people. Being good friends with people on your hall is such a blessing because you can just go down the hall and see if anyone wants to grab lunch or dinner in the caf or can come with you to do something.
Another awesome thing about OBU and how small it is that you feel more invested in when you’re developing a relationship with Christ. There are so many people that are willing to invest in you spiritually here, RA’s, staff members and other class mates. My RA is leading a bible study about the life of David, the book is written by Jennie Allen, and it’s such a good study on learning how to chase after God in your own life even though we’re not perfect, just like David. Being discipled changed how I viewed my own religion early in my life, and to continue to be pushed here at OBU is an amazing experience. There are so many opportunities to further your relationship with God to turn you into a Godly woman or man, which I think makes you a better friend, student and all around person. For people to take the time to invest in you as an individual doesn’t happen at a lot of bigger schools, much less to take time to disciple you to help you grow as a follower of God.
What I would argue might be the best part of OBU and it’s small size of 2,000, is just the size of the campus. Since campus doesn’t have to hold a lot of students, everything is at most five minutes away when you live on campus. I can get up 30 minutes before my 9:00 am class, get ready for my day and leave five minutes before class and make it to Shawnee Hall in two minutes, getting to my class on time. Sometimes it’s overlooked, but it’s so nice to not have to try to book it across campus to get to your class on time because you’re never more than 5 minutes away from a class or building, especially if you live in a dorm all the buildings are super close to you. The small campus, it once again nurtures the community here at OBU, you’re always around people and you meet new people everyday.
A weird and sometimes overlooked thing is the parking available. There are some schools where you pay $300 for a spot a mile away from campus. I have friends that complain about having to park in Noble, which is at most a ten minute walk away from WMU, but most of our parking is across the street from us. Sometimes it feels like a hike but we’re truly blessed to have such close parking that isn’t super expensive, like at larger schools.
I had apprehensions about going to a smaller school. As I said, OBU is half the size of my high school. I thought it was going to be too strange and that I should try to aim for a bigger school, maybe 20,000 people but not insanely big like Texas A&M. Don’t be put off by the smaller size of OBU. While it is a small school, it doesn’t feel like it when you have so much to do. You do get a lot more opportunities here to go out into the world, like on GO Trips and Studying Abroad, where the faculty really encourages you to go do these things to broaden your horizons.
Don’t be afraid to tour and look into smaller schools, because sometimes smaller is better.
What’s your favorite thing about the small size of OBU?
“I would have to say it’s easy to get to know new people and see them regularly, whether it’s a Starbucks or seeing them in the cafeteria as you stand in line, so you can develop the friendship over time. It can be intimidating to meet new people if there are so many people, which can stop you from meeting new people. Seeing familiar faces around campus, even if you don’t know them very well is comforting.” – Vanessa Parra- Sophomore- Elementary Education
” My favorite thing about OBU’s size is that you can really get to know your peers and professors. Being able to form those relationships and connections provides a better platform for success.” –Brennan VanBuskirk- Freshman- Studio Arts