Why Community College Is Still a Good Option
And the Reason Behind the Stigma
This year, I graduated high school and embarked on the quest for a Bachelor's degree in order to land in a good career. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but with so little money to get there I had decided earlier in the year to go to the community college in my town. And boy, did it create controversy.
Before graduation, I had been in a college prep program that had been previously known as AVID for my entire high school career. The main teacher of the program believed only in the “4-year university route” as if it was the Bible. She had steered her entire class in that direction and condemned all that dared to oppose her. Even though, in my opinion, she was wrong.
Community college isn’t your last-ditch effort to go to college. It’s a smart choice. If planned right, you can achieve what you want in the time you want to. It’s not impossible to have a future and still go to community college.
The reason why I chose community college was purely because of my financial status. Now, everyone’s answer to that problem is “loans”, but one has to consider how many other loans someone already has and if they will be able to keep up. My answer to that is no. I couldn’t afford to take out a loan and go to a university, and neither could my parents. We were in a tough spot and still are. I could barely pay for my classes as is, and this person was trying to tell me why I should spend close to $40,000 a year for my education. As if I had the money to spend it.
If it’s too expensive to go to a university and there is a cheaper alternative, then why is there so much negativity around that alternative?
My answer: the horror stories.
People—including teachers—tell young students horror stories of getting stuck at the same school year after year just to get your GED. They hear of kids dropping out because they become so frustrated with getting their classes. Of course, there is some truth to this. There are those who drop out and never achieve what they set out to do, but there are those who succeed. It’s rare to hear about them because in a community college setting it’s easier to quit. You do things at your own pace, you can choose whether or not you want to take classes, you have to remember to re-admit your application every semester on your own. On top of all that, you have to register for your classes right away if you want to secure the best spot for you. It’s a lot, and that’s only setting up classes.
The truth is, community college is all about what YOU want. It just depends on whether or not you actually want to cross the finish line. It can work for you if you are a driven individual, but keep in mind that it’s your personal decisions that get you where you are. Don’t let people scare you out something that could be an option for you, even if it’s university. The truth is, a lot of what happens to you depends on you. I try to keep this in mind as I begin my journey into adulthood along with thousands of others in order to cross the finish line.