If you asked me at thirteen where I thought I’d be five years later, I would have said I saw myself at a four-year university, preferably an Ivy League, straight after high school graduation. I would have told you that I was going to go away for college and start building my life on the other side of the country. If you were a close friend, I would have told you that I wanted to go away for university in order be able to find my wings and move on with my life, seeing as how I’ve always wanted to move far away from my hometown. I thought I had my college years completely planned out and it would have gone according to said plan.
However, life had its own things in store for me and upon personal reasons, I ended up having to go to a community college. At first, I was absolutely ashamed and angered at the fact I had to go to community college because of its stigma. I thought I was too smart for community and there was no need for me to go. I swore to myself that I was going to go, get the credits I needed, and leave. I didn’t want any friends whatsoever.
Once again, life had something else in store for me. I spent my fall and winter semester focusing solely on academics, making one or two friends along the way, but it was my spring semester that made me forever grateful for going to community. I met the most amazing group of people I could have ever asked for. I grew so close to them in such a short amount of time, something that has never happened to me before. Through them, I was able to find bits of myself in the last four months that I didn’t know existed. I even questioned why they weren’t placed in my life sooner, but then I realized that they were put in my life at the exact time I needed them. I didn’t just make friends, but I gained a family. I’ve made life-long friendships this spring, but if I didn’t go to community, I would have never found these amazing human beans. I’m so grateful for them and for their support every day.
Although I still wish I could have gone to an Ivy League, I’m a little happy that I did not. In the past year at community college, I’ve grown so much. I’m more open-minded than ever before and I have a new outlook on life and the lives of others. We shouldn’t feel ashamed of our stories because our stories are the backbone of who we are and who we continue to become.
For any high school senior that’s just graduated and has to attend community in the fall, please do not shut out those around you. They could help you grow in ways you wouldn’t even imagine.