College Atmosphere: How Much Does it Matter?

Back in high school, I remember getting all the brochures in the mail for different colleges. Since I hadn’t really begun to think about where I should go, what programs were exceptional, etc., *I based my opinion of the schools solely on what the pictures in the brochure looked like*. In fact, I remember wanting to go to the University of Puget Sound for the longest time only because it was close to the water and the leaves were really pretty in the fall. I also thought I wanted to go to a school that had an Einstein Bros. Bagel close to campus. The school I ended up going to had neither. It wasn’t close to a serene lake or my favorite strawberry cream cheese.

By the time my senior year rolled around, my decision was based more on practical logic and less on, _”what kind of aesthetic experience do I want to have there?”_ *And maybe that’s the way it should be, I don’t know.* But when I toured Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, I noticed that there is a lot of emphasis on groundskeeping and gardening. There were even little “reflection gardens” where students came after learning or studying to reflect on what they had read. The actual look of the school was an important part of the learning process. *So that’s my question….how much does the look of the campus matter?*

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