Choosing a college to attend is one of the most difficult decisions a person will make during their academic career. With so many variables and unknowns, it is no wonder that a high level of stress is associated with this time as a high school upperclassman weighs the options, asks questions of counselors and family members, and visits college campuses in hopes of finding the perfect fit. Not only are young adults attempting to forecast what career they will work within for years to come, they are also choosing the place they will call home for several years. While the factors of tuition cost, living expenses, academic integrity, and program reputation are certainly some of the most important to consider, there is also the valuable matter of a college or university's campus condition which should be considered at this time. Here are three reasons why a beautiful college campus can be advantageous to a student.
A Beautiful Campus Will Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle Outside the Classroom
The college years are when many young adults form healthy life habits both in the classroom and outside it. This is the time in life when some will be responsible for forming a structured schedule for studying, working a part-time job, and taking care of a dorm room or apartment without the assistance of a parent nearby.
While universities certainly invest millions of dollars into programming and staffing for academics, some of the very best colleges and universities across the country also invest in state of the art recreational facilities and natural spaces in and around their campuses. It is not uncommon for colleges in Colorado, for example, to advertise the access students have to natural spaces which allow for year-round activities like hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and snow skiing. Schools that have fewer geographical and natural offerings may have a popular student rec center with many options for student health and physical well-being.
A Beautiful Campus Speaks to Being a Part of Something Greater Than Yourself
Imagine being a high school upperclassman taking a guided tour through a university which was established in the 1800's and is full of historic buildings and landmarks. The sense of excitement of studying at such a special place can be a great motivator for choosing such a school. The idea of becoming part of an institution which has offered a quality education and rich traditions to generations of students before offers today's students a sense of pride and achievement that is unlike any other.
A Beautiful Campus Can Mean Better Grades
Everyone can appreciate a well-designed economics building, thoughtful furniture and art placed in the library, or the surprise of a beautiful business school. But can these attributes of a college campus's learning environments really improve a student's academic performance? A well-designed educational space will help to encourage better learning. Think for a moment about the difference for an English major who arrives to the classroom an hour before her class begins; the hallway is poorly lit and with a lack of a seating area in the hallway and no windows, she is resigned to sitting on the floor as she does her last minute-prep before a literature test. Now consider the quality of this student's study time if she has access to an ample table and chair set up in a hallway with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the greenspace on campus consisting of a small lake and aspen trees. The difference is (almost literally) night and day.
There is much competition between colleges and universities for the enrollment of students each year across the country. Schools often rely on the success of their sports programs, academic rankings, or research qualifications when advertising to potential students. These are just three reasons why schools should also invest into beautifying their campuses and why students should consider the aesthetics and functionality of a school's campus when considering enrollment.