According to urbandictionary.com, a “suitcase college” is defined as “A college or university where many students go back home every weekend”. Unfortunately, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is considered by many as a suitcase college. I hate the fact that UW-W gets such a bad rep, because the city of Whitewater, though it may be boring, is a great place to live and an even better place to get an education.
The first reason a lot of people leave on the weekends, is Whitewater’s close proximity to nearby colleges such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the university of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University. All of the aforementioned schools have an enrollment of greater than 40,000 students, which is more than four times the size of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Also, all of the universities are located in cities with a much larger population. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is located in Madison, Wisconsin a city with a population of about 250,000 people which is about 16x times the size of Whitewater. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University are both located in Wisconsin’s biggest city, Milwaukee. Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a population of about 600,000 which is exactly 40 times bigger than Whitewater. With so much more to do in Madison and Milwaukee, people leave Whitewater on the weekends and go to those cities when they can be doing the same things in Whitewater, just on a smaller scale, obviously.
The second reason a lot of people go home on the weekend is because our school is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, so there is nothing to do. However, I find something to do every weekend and the year I’ve been at whitewater has been nothing short of epic. I love the people, the small town feel and the education I receive here. A lot of people who complain about there being nothing to do just sit on their ass in their room and play video games. So in essence, they drive themselves bored. There is always something to do, you just have to ponder out, make some new friends and find something fun to do.
In closing, I just want students who attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to know that just because the city of Whitewater doesn’t have a population to match Madison or Milwaukee, or just because the University doesn’t have an enrollment to match UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee or Marquette that you can’t have fun here. Get off your lazy ass and go mingle and meet people. Because at the end of the day, no matter what school you attend, YOU make your college experience what it is.