College Culture Shock: Could Be More Shocking

Ava Compagnoni (

College needs to have a greater impact on students. I do not mean the course load or athletic experience, or if it is the first time you are living with someone else. These are all experiences every student may have when they attend a college or university. Location, location, location – this is what matters most for a culture shock to occur, in my opinion. 

Prospective students should try to hop at least two states over from where they live. “College is the best four years of your life” is how the saying goes, so why not make it the most illuminating decision of your life too? Post-graduation, a job may not take you any further than your hometown if you decide to go to school that is twenty minutes away. You may end up sitting in a bar in ten years with the same people you have been with since kindergarten. Job offers do not always have flexibility with location: it is often either where the job is, or no job. There are big colleges everywhere, small liberal arts colleges like Ursinus, or a happy medium, everywhere in the country. Why do people choose to stay close? I wish Ursinus’ campus could be picked up and brought to a new state. The element of culture shock outside of a college campus is just as important as the already impending culture shock of college itself. 

In my opinion, with no factual evidence to support this claim, I feel that a good portion of college students pick their school because it has a feeling of ‘familiarity.’ Maybe the party scene is familiar to them. Maybe picking a school with a small student population is key because they’ve always felt comfortable in their small hometown. 

Our country, and potential college opportunities overseas, have    a diversity of cultures. If I could pick up Ursinus’ campus and move it anywhere, I definitely would not keep it in Pennsylvania. Luckily, there are still three months out of the year to explore and broaden your experiences. Also, opportunities during your college experience to have culture shocks! Ursinus has a hands-on Center for International Programs, like study abroad. Ursinus students have been almost everywhere on the map for tens of years, allowing students to pop out of the Ursinus’ bubble for a semester or summer. Additionally, Ursinus offers the Philadelphia Experience, PhillyX, where students can spend an entire semester living and taking classes in the heart of Philadelphia. 

While Ursinus offers something unique residing in the small town of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, opportunities are available to go beyond the Ursinus culture!