During the span of my educational career, I have felt a little like Goldilocks throughout the process. While I don’t hang wander into strange homes, eat porridge or know any talking bears, I can somewhat relate to her conundrum.
I didn’t have any choice in which high school I attended. My location and parents were the determining votes in that decision process. I went to the same school from pre-school up through high school. My little rural Indiana school produced 70 graduates my senior year. Oh, did I mention that I graduated from the same high school as my parents? One look at my last name and most of my k-12 teachers knew my parents and aunt and uncles. My parents graduated with several of my classmates’ parents, too. My high school was just too small.
During my college selection, I wanted something bigger. I was ready to trade in my puddle-sized high school. I found what I was looking for at Indiana University. I entered into a world as a complete stranger. It’s easy to blend in with the crowd of a few thousand. Having class with 200 other students was not uncommon. While I loved those huge lectures, I never got to know the person sitting next to me or talk one-on-one with the professor. My undergraduate college was just too big.
Next up comes graduate school. I still stood firm that my high school, while it had a lot to offer, was still too small. I loved my time at IU, but I had not suddenly erupted into a big enough extrovert to justify another large university. Instead, I landed at Ohio University. I’m happy to say, it has been the perfect fit.
Here in Athens I have struck a great balance in the battle between too big and too small. My professors know me by name and our little cohort in the MSES program is well established. I learn something new from and about the people who have entered my life since moving here. Athens is quickly becoming a home away from home. Unlike Goldilocks, I plan on hanging around for a while.