Lewisburg, PA: As a sophomore, I am just starting my college search. I always thought I would be attracted to a large university with great sports teams, like Duke, Notre Dame, and Penn State. But visiting Bucknell University, I was pleasantly surprised.
My sister is a freshman there, so I spent a weekend with her. Bucknell has 3,500 undergraduates, which seemed on the small side, but this has several advantages. The class sizes are small and you receive individual attention. You get to know professors and you aren’t taught by teaching assistants. One professor even invited my sister’s class of 10 students over for a lasagna dinner at the end of the semester.
The campus is beautiful, and the dorm rooms are nice too. The students are upbeat and friendly. Bucknell is academically challenging but not in a cutthroat way. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is rather rural, but the town is really nice, with a movie theater and restaurants. It reminds me of the town in “Gilmore Girls.”
Bucknell plays in Division I in the Patriot League, and sports, although not quite at the level I originally wanted, are a big part of the school spirit. There is always something to do: Ludacris in concert, the Harlem Globetrotters, Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel, and of course, frat parties.
One last thing worth mentioning is the “residential colleges” living option. As a freshman you can choose to live in one of many subject-specific dorms: art, social justice, language, etc. This allows you to reside with others who have similar interests. Everyone in your dorm takes a seminar together. This, in combination with a great freshman orientation week, makes it easier to make friends and adjust quickly.
So now I have to re-evaluate my criteria for choosing the right college for me and, perhaps, so should you.
Check out www.bucknell.edu for more info.