After graduating high school, attending a community college was the LAST thing I wanted to do. My plan was to go straight to a 4-year university and get the full college experience. Unfortunately, because of my below average SAT & ACT scores, I was unable to attend my preferred institutes. This led me to no other option but to start off at a community college. My first few weeks at a 2-year college were exactly how I expected- depressing. It was largely due to the fact that staying in the same place that I had already spent my entire adolescence was not in my plans. I really didn’t want to be there. Looking back on life two years later, It was the best decision ever. Here are 3 main reasons why…
1. SAVE MONEY
What many people don’t know is that your first two years of the college consists of taking general ed courses and electives. These same courses that freshmen are taking at a UNI are available at community colleges. The only difference is you pay less at community colleges. For me, that was a big deal. With the help of grants & scholarships, I was able to pay for my classes, books and get money back in return; which I was able to save. Commuting from home allowed me to work more and in return save more
2. I wasn’t Ready Financially
Now, that I think about it, how would’ve paid for school? I’m the first child in my family, my parents never went to school in the states and have no experience with how the education system work, they had no money save for me to go to college. I had no clear idea how much it cost to live on campus or what it was going to take. All I knew as a high school senior was that I wanted to leave home.
In December 2016 I completed my associate degree, left home and transferred to a university. Seeing how much money it took for me to get here; from housing cost, deposits, books…I realized ” HOLY CRAP” how could’ve afforded all of these two and half years ago.
3. Finding Myself
Most of my time in community college was spent going to classes and going to work, there wasn’t a party to attend every other weekend, there wasn’t gazillion clubs or greeks to figure out where I fit in at. University is filled with hundreds of clubs and organizations; there’s a club for everything. You love food and sleeping? there’s a club for that. Enjoy drinking coffee and talking about politics? There’s a club for that; which I’m still looking for.
I think as freshmen if you don’t come to college with a clear idea of who you are as a person, you can lose yourself.
The two-year I spent at home gave me a lot of time to grow and know myself. My relationship with my family & friends grew stronger.
I say all these things not to say that EVERYONE should start at a community college. The purpose of this post is to inspire those who are struggling with the idea of having to start at a community college or might feel ashamed of having to make that decision. I want those of you to learn from my experience and realize it’s really not that bad.