As I write this, students all over the country are finishing up their finals and/or packing their bags to go home for the holidays. Some of those students, like myself, are enrolled in a community college rather than a traditional four-year institution. Contrary to popular belief, these students are also stressed about finals and the process of planning their next semester.
It is a common misconception that students who go to community colleges are less competent and do not push themselves academically. However, academics are only one part of the equation that leads to enrollment at a community college. Money is a big factor when planning the next step after high school. This path is becoming more common due to the rising difficulty of being granted both money and admission to four-year institutions.
It’s also unfair to say that these students are free from perpetual nights and days filled with stress and adversity. It’s true that community colleges may be less rigorous, but that is not always the case. Sometimes you may find those same community college professors teaching at the local universities.
Alongside the horror of endless papers and projects, students who go to community college face challenges that other students may not endure. This can include less reliable technology due to smaller endowments, traffic during the commute, and unreliable staff. While it is a viable option, it is important to make a plan that lays out your major and the courses required at the university you plan to transfer to. Advisors are at your disposal, however, they may not be of much help. Students should do research to make sure the credits they are taking transfer over smoothly. Community college can be confusing, but it is important to be sure you are following each step adequately.
Despite the slow websites and advisors who seem to be just as lost as the students, community college is an alternative that provides higher learning at a lesser cost. It is often looked down on but people do not realize that your degree won’t even state where you transferred from. Even if it did, it’s nothing students should be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong with making sacrifices to save money while still receiving an education.