This isnt as bad as you think. What you can do is order the list with the top two or top X choices as the most common ones. You can also store this per user.
The second thing to note is the list should be ordered in a logical.
If there’s anywhere between 7 and 15 options, a drop-down list is usually a really good fit. You can put a healthy amount of information in your form without cluttering the entire page, because the list’s options are hidden when you don’t need them.
via drop down usability article. I wish they shared data on why the number is 7-15 choices.
As per the low side of why you dont want less than 7ish items in the drop down the article states and I agree with.
When drop-down lists have less than 7 options they suffer from a lack of up-front information. The user has to click in order to see the available options.
In these cases you are better off using radio buttons so your users immediately can scan how many options they have and what each of those options are, without clicking anything to reveal this information.
On the other end of the spectrum when you have too many items (15+ in a drop down, searching with auto-complete seems like a better choice like this example of a country selector
also this similar question has a fair amount of best practices.
Lastly if your just looking to spice up the visual presentation take a look at this library.