A new student’s perspective: Big schools vs. small schools

Graphic+by+Grace+ONeil

Graphic by Grace O’Neil

Mia Wilson, Staff Writer

Imagine a school one fourth the size of DCHS. Crazy to think about, right? There would be just one lunch period. There would be an unusually limited number of people to date. It would be even more difficult to find enough athletes to field a football team. Furthermore, there would be an even higher chance of everyone knowing your business. 

 

Coming from a high school of over two thousand students, I am able to say that yes, it is crazy to think about. And even crazier to live out. Keep in mind that although I will be examining the difference between small schools and big schools, I only have the perspective of my old high school, Valparaiso High School (VHS), and Delphi Community High School (DCHS).

The main difference between small schools and big schools, in my experience, is the people. Overall, I would say that the students and staff in small schools are much more genuine. In a school as large as VHS, everyone definitely does not know everyone. This gives people the opportunity to be fake, change their personalities, or even become an entirely different person depending on who they are around. I have seen virtually none of that at DCHS. In small schools, there isn’t the opportunity to not be genuine; everyone knows who people truly are.

In my opinion, students and staff in small schools are also more welcoming. The welcome I have received upon entering DCHS has been truly genuine and awe inspiring. VHS receives many new students throughout the course of a school year, but few are ever welcomed or accepted as quickly as I have been. In a school as large as VHS, the new students are lost in the masses and usually completely overlooked. In a smaller school like DCHS, however, I don’t feel overlooked at all.

Similarly, I’ve also noticed that everyone is more upfront in small schools than in big ones. Many students I’ve talked to at DCHS have told me matter-of-factly that DCHS is full of people who do drugs. Drug usage is not just a small town problem, as VHS has the same issue. However, at VHS drug usage is just a fact that everyone knows but no one talks about. Students at VHS conceal that type of behavior, which reveals how DCHS students are much more upfront. Along those lines, I’ve had a couple of students share very personal things with me and be very open about who they were and who they are. This type of upfrontness is even more meaningful than stating something about the school. VHS students are very slow to share anything personal, showing the difference between small and large schools.

Another main difference between small schools and big schools is the money each school has. VHS has more funding than DCHS due to its size. With increased funds, VHS had lots of opportunities in all sorts of areas. Just last year, VHS upgraded all their sports facilities. VHS also provides computers, printers, and a multitude of supplies for the engineering classes. Regarding the arts, VHS offers orchestra as a class as well. I am so thankful for all the opportunities DCHS offers, though VHS was able to offer more due to its size.

I can’t wrap this up without discussing food because, come on, who doesn’t like food? I will say that the VHS lunches are better than the DCHS lunches because there were so many more meal options. There are three main course options every day, along with a salad bar, pre-made salads, different deli sandwiches, uncrustables, snack items (fruit snacks, cookies, or chips), and different sparkling waters or energy drinks. I imagine that this is another advantage to larger schools having larger funds.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both small and large schools. I have been fortunate enough to experience both and gain an interesting perspective. I was able to take advantage of some of the perks that a big school has to offer, and, although I have only been a student at DCHS for a short time, I can already tell that I am going to really enjoy it here and have an absolute blast.