Is Bigger Always Better?

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Returning to New England College for my third year was a no-brainer. I’ve always had caring professors, great friends, spaces to hang out with those friends, and a plethora of extracurricular activities or events to attend or invest myself into. Three years in, and I’m confident to say that NEC is a tight, close knit community and everyone knew or had an idea of what was going on. Well, at least I used to be able to say that confidently.
Today, I walk around campus and there is a sea of new faces. It now feels like I don’t know half of the campus. Something like that happens every year when seniors graduate and new students arrive, but it’s more pronounced this year. The feeling from recognizing 80-90% of the student body to barely feeling confident in 50% is a bit jarring. This is the growth of our school.
Change, growth, and development are all important. I’m proud of NEC’s commitment to their students. I’m proud that the faculty and staff are always listening to their students and striving to improve. I am, unfortunately, not proud of, what seems like, sudden growth.
When I came to NEC, my incoming class, the class of 2019, was the largest incoming class. We set a record, but I never thought we were aiming to break that record so soon. With my class, there were a few room hiccups. The same goes for this huge incoming class. Offices had to be surrendered and the Simon Center gave way to new offices for our displaced staff. Buildings had to be remodeled. Classrooms relocated to accommodate for class size, needs and space. I have several writing classes inside of the Science Building, which is the first time in my three years that this has happened to me.
Parking became a lingering fear in the minds of commuters, like myself. This year is the first year that I can remember our school running out of parking passes for residents. Even with the parking pass price increase of $25, passes quickly ran dry. This record breaking vehicles on campus means it’ll probably be the record breaking year for parking tickets and a record breaking year of my being late to class due to crowded lots.
The new remodel to Gilmore has improved the dining experience for residential students and, though I rarely eat there, I’m happy we have new buildings being created and older ones updated. I think this renovation could signal more for NEC. Further improving student services in that manner is definitely important now that our school became considerably larger this year.
I’m elated that people want to join our community and get a taste of the backwoods of New Hampshire, but I wonder if it won’t be long now until we graduate from a small school to a medium school. We’ll see class sizes go up, new land acquisitions, and new buildings crop up almost overnight.
I can honestly say I am in no way upset with our beloved NEC. Growth was inevitable, but this growth seems sudden and not well communicated. I was in the dark most of the summer regarding the situation on campus for the following year. I knew there would be changes, but I never knew how many or where I would notice these changes. Looking back, I wish there was a little more communication from the school about what their plan was. I hope we get more insight for next year.
I hope we never get too big; I would miss the smallness of NEC. It was the reason I chose to come here, but it’s not the reason I’m choosing to stay. Welcome class of 2021! I look forward to meeting you all!
Oh, and NEC, it’s okay to grow up, just don’t forget who you are.

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Hey everybody! I’m Desiree LaPointe and I’m the assistant editor in chief of the newspaper! I commute to our beautiful campus and this is my third year here! I’m a communications major, but also adore English and creative arts. I’m a native New Hampshirite and have been in this state pretty much my whole life My hobbies include reading, writing, and playing video games! . Alice in Wonderland is my favorite book, so much so that I have some killer tattoos of it. I’m hard into collectibles and collect just about anything I can get my hands on. I work part time in Manchester, whenever I’m not on campus. I’m pretty easy to spot. Just look for the short girl with the bright purple hair! I don’t bite, I swear!
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