I’ve completed nearly a month and a half at my new college home: Southwestern College in Winfield. That month and a half has been better than I would have ever expected from a small college.

After two years of junior college life, I was a bit skeptical when I took my campus visits. All I ever heard about was how great of a school SC is and how much I would love it here. I had heard very similar statements two years earlier when I started at Pratt.

While I didn’t mind it at Pratt, it definitely didn’t live up to my expectations.

I’m not going to make this a recruitment column for Southwestern College, but I’m confident that what I say about my new school probably holds true for many of the smaller colleges in America.

I tell a lot of people how I learned so many life lessons at Pratt. In my short time here, I’ve learned so much more about me as a person. Instead of the traditional “go to lecture, take test, pass or fail course” class format, many of my classes here are hands-on. Test material, if there is any, comes from what should have been learned in your hands on work. Notes are actually few and far between.

This has caused me to learn a lot about my study and learning styles.

On the other hand, however, classes are a lot more fun and interesting. It’s amazing how much better a class is when you’re not sitting in a chair staring at a screen.

A factor I overlooked in my search for a college this last time around was the religious aspect. It’s amazing how much different and how much more fun private, religiously oriented colleges are.

I didn’t know at first how much I would like the idea of taking an hour out of my day once a week for chapel, but I can’t make myself stop going now. The people that told me how much I could grow spiritually if I went to SC weren’t lying.

Perhaps one thing that is the hardest for me to believe is how I’ve grown to love the game of soccer. Yes, this football fan who openly admitted to not liking soccer is now a dedicated soccer fan. Our teams might not be national-championship caliber, but our stands will be packed at nearly every soccer game.

It might help that my roommate is a soccer player, but soccer really is an interesting game to watch… especially if you’re patient.

The one thing that puts small schools over larger ones is how students intermingle with athletes so well. I can’t help to think that if I would have gone to K-State, there’s no way I’d be able to know what kind of a student the quarterback is from personal experience. I’m relatively certain that I wouldn’t have been able to help the team’s best wide receiver on a video production assignment. I find it very interesting to be able to recap the weekend’s game with the starting tight end the Monday following a big game.

It’s also kind of fun to talk about Tabor being a rival, but that’s very strictly a personal opinion. I actually think it’ll be a bit odd to take a basketball road trip to my home town, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose.

Like I said, I’m not just bragging about how great our school is. I’m guessing that any small, private college in Kansas could brag about the same thing.

Finally, and on a completely different note, I’d like to apologize for the many different ways my last column could have been read.

I’d like to apologize to the Free Press for any heat they may have taken from my work. I realize that I failed to clarify my opinion from their fact, and I apologize for any confusion that may have caused.

I appreciate each and every last bit of feedback I have received, and from a majority of that feedback, I gather that many people took my column as it was intended.

To the City of Hillsboro, I apologize for any heat you may have received from my failure to clarify fact from opinion.

At any rate, thank you for reading, and thanks again for the feedback!

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