College corner: College of Charleston

Kelly Rosenblatt, Editor-In-Chief

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Sometimes the things you least expect are the things that surprise you the most. I experienced this first-hand last month when I visited the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Halfway across the country, and about half the size of major U.S. universities, the College of Charleston is a relatively unusual choice for a Texas student, especially a student who has lived in Texas for the majority of her life.

To describe all of the high points of the College of Charleston would take me eons, but between the surrounding city’s charm, the temperate climate and the school’s amenities and size, I was sold pretty quickly.

Charleston is a town with a lot of history, and with historical influence comes charm. The city is full of converted homes and businesses, multicolored buildings, and intricate stone-paved sidewalks. One thing about the school that I appreciated so much was its seamless transition into the rest of the city. I liked the idea of going to school in a place that has more to offer me than just the school itself. I find comfort in the idea that I will be moving somewhere for school but be living in a place where I can do more than that, easily within walking distance. “On-campus” and “off-campus” are virtually synonymous at Charleston, providing for an environment of both work and play, making me feel like I’m not just attending classes, but I am living in a city, starting a new life on my own, which is a huge part  of what college is about, right?

Aside from the wonderful vibes radiating from the campus and surrounding town, the school is perfect for a Texas student who’s not quite ready to venture into a climate featuring all four seasons. Charleston sits on the coast, just 20 minutes from the Isle of Palms, and has the ultimate coastal climate. A climate as appealing as Charleston’s makes the living transition that much easier, and being close to the beach doesn’t hurt.

As far as the amenities of the school itself, Charleston offers a wide range of benefits for its students. With a smaller population than many major universities, the class sizes are smaller and more personalized, providing easier access to building a strong academic relationship with the professors. This was something that really attracted me to the academics of Charleston. I am someone who really values the interpersonal aspects of knowledge and learning and that is not as easy to practice when you are in a class of a hundred or a couple hundred students. Having a good relationship with my instructors is something that I have become accustomed to throughout my years in school and it’s something I see to be incredibly important to my success as an academician. Along with smaller class sizes, the campus itself is very manageable, with the number of students with cars being a minority, walking from class to class is very feasible. This goes for most places in the city as well, allowing for the school day to feel similar to that of what I experience in my daily life today.

One nerve wracking part of going to school so far away is leaving a support system of family and friends that have been building up over a lifetime. For me, it will be my first time having to make all new friends. With being so far away from anyone I know, it is important to me that I have access to different ways to get involved in meeting people. To help expedite this process, I plan on rushing in the fall to join a sorority. Charleston has a unique Greek life system in that the school’s sororities and fraternities are not live-in organizations. Although it may sound skeptical to some students looking to be involved in Greek life, I enjoy the idea of being in a sorority that is more of a social club and organization rather than a secluded part of the campus. This way, students involved in Greek life still have a chance to make a community of friends and meet lots of other people who aren’t in sororities or fraternities.

Ultimately, besides all of the perks of going to school at the College of Charleston, the one thing that has helped me to commit to the school is the feeling I got when I walked through the school and the surrounding city. Yes, the location is beautiful and the architecture is charming, and it’s not that other schools that I looked at don’t offer a beautiful surrounding or nice amenities, I just felt something when I was touring the school. I can’t liken it to any other feeling I have had before, I just know that there was a distinct feeling that rushed through me when I toured Charleston and that feeling was trying to tell me that this is where I need to be. No matter how far away I am from my home and everything I’m used to, I honestly feel that this is an adventure that I am meant to go on and I am more excited about it every day.