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Why you shouldn't go to Flagler College

Aug 14, 2023
by Anna Boone

Ranked No. 2 Best Regional College in the South by U.S. News and World Report, named among “The Best Colleges for Your Money" by Money Magazine, and consistently featured in the media as one of the world’s most beautiful campuses- there are many reasons why you should go to Flagler College.

But there are also several very valid reasons why you shouldn’t go to Flagler College in the summery city of St. Augustine.

The hard adjustment to a breezy island life 

Moving to St. Augustine means a brutal adjustment to your new peaceful lifestyle on the coast. 

Students enjoying the local beach
Students enjoying the local beach

When the ocean is less than 15 minutes from your dorm room, everyday activities like studying, hanging out with friends, and eating meals can be easily taken to the beach. The downside? There is constantly sand to wash off your feet or vacuum from the floor of your car. 

If sand doesn’t bother you, maybe the task of finding a parking spot at one of the several vibrant city markets will be enough of a deterrent. A slow Saturday morning enjoying fresh food and browsing handcrafted goods at the Amphitheatre farmers market is magical, and a Wednesday night at West King Market promises the best vintage finds.

But finding a parking spot, especially in the muddy aftermath of summer thunderstorms, is enough to give you a headache.  

Guard your free time, especially if you’re a nature enthusiast, because you could spend all your breaks and weekends exploring nearby trails or surfing until your fingers shrivel up. Protect your wallet as well because a cold smoothie from Big Island Bowls and tacos from Mojos or Osprey Tacos on the island is the perfect ending to a long day at the sandy beach.  

A campus you’ll get tired of bragging about 

Sometimes, it’s easier to go to a college that’s aesthetically boring.  

If you choose a college that’s mundane in its architecture and appearance, you won’t have to worry about your family constantly sending you articles about Flagler being featured for its picturesque campus

The Dining Hall (D-Hall)
The Dining Hall (D-Hall)

Not to mention, as a freshman, you may be living in Ponce Hall. This is the College’s main building, but it also happens to be a breathtaking National Historic Landmark, the former Hotel Ponce de Leon. You have no idea how tiring it is to keep telling your friends and family about the views of stunning Spanish Renaissance architecture and design you walk through daily.  

You might even get some jealous texts from friends at other colleges who see you studying in the mezzanine of the Ponce’s golden rotunda or having class between the trees of the palm garden on Flagler’s West Lawn.  

Dealing with professors who actually care about you 

At Flagler, you don’t have the luxury of professors who don’t care about your efforts in the classroom and who can’t name you out of a crowded lecture hall. If you prefer impersonal instruction and learning course materials through dated YouTube videos, this is not the College for you.

Professor Matthew Jamnik instructing at Fort Matanzas

Be prepared for your professors to learn your name quickly and make the classroom an engaging environment for each student. This cuts into the afternoon daydream or online browsing time you’d get away with in a 100-person class at a state university.

The average classroom ratio at Flagler is 16 students for one professor, which means you’ll have to deal with the care and accountability of your expert professors in each course you take. 

Not only do you have to deal closely with your professors in your small classes, but one of your department faculty members will also become your advisor starting sophomore year. They’re like built-in mentors who you didn’t ask for.  

Not enough time in the classroom  

If fluorescent LED classroom lights, projector screens, and swivel chairs are your thing: bad news. Flagler College will not suit your style. While the classrooms at Flagler do have some of those elements, the classroom won’t be where you do most of your learning. 

Professor Jessica Howell with students on FlagSHIP study abroad trip
Professor Jessica Howell with students on FlagSHIP study abroad trip

From out-of-the-classroom lessons with community partners and internships around St. Johns County to the FlagSHIP trip your second year and other immersive study-abroad opportunities, students at Flagler have opportunities across their four years to immerse themselves in experiential learning. 

In other words, Flagler isn’t the right fit for students set on spending most of their time in the library. 

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