It is quite evident that many students steer clear of community college at all costs, because apparently they would be gypped out of the “real college experience” or do not consider themselves a part of the “dumbasses who can’t handle a university” community. Both of these arguments are extremely false, and in all honesty, anyone who tries to make either claim, I consider a part of the “dumbasses of life” community. It goes without saying, that attending community college has been the most economically feasible and mentally stabilizing decision of my collegiate life. Here are the reasons why I chose community college first.
1. The amount of money saved each year equates to the price of a condominium or nice car.
Each semester at my community college is approximately 2,000 dollars, whereas a semester’s tuition at a university ranges anywhere from 20,000 dollars to 60,000 dollars. By attending community college prior to a university, I am receiving a formal education equivalent to one of a university, with an additional 50,000 dollars in my pocket. Your parents definitely are not kidding when they say you could literally buy a vehicle with the money saved by attending community college.
2. The “university experience” is not necessarily a better experience.
More freedom at a university, sure. However, saying “I don’t want to miss out on a real college experience” is the oldest and most commonly used line in the book. I am failing to understand why community bathrooms, getting wasted every weekend, and a poorly constructed diet of non perishables and alcohol is such a desirable lifestyle to so many people-- over sleeping in your own bed, using your own bathroom limited of foreign bacteria, and eating wholesome, homemade meals that are kind to your gut, each day.
3. Select universities have a compact agreement to override all general education requirements with an associate's degree.
I am receiving my associate’s degree in December, which I originally thought was an ample waste of money and time. I could not grasp my mind around why I was taking as many courses towards an associate’s degree, if I was going to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree-- and the associate’s courses were not complementary to the university’s general education requirements. It was not until recently that I learned if I receive my associate’s degree, I automatically surpass all general education requirements at my chosen university, despite the fact that most my courses are not considered general education for my specific transfer school. This being said, I am academically considered a junior at time of attendance once I transfer, with ALL general education requirements under my belt for a third of the time and price it would cost to take them through the university. All I need to worry about now is taking courses related to my major. I will be entering my university with 60 credit hours, achieved in 1.5 years, and will only need to take 48 more (approximately 16 courses) throughout my time there. That is pretty fantastic, considering I will be able to either take less courses at a time, or graduate early! Talk about a HUGE head start!
It took many counselors and advisers to explain it to me, however I am finally so beyond grateful that I began my collegiate journey at community college. Initially, I was incredibly depressed, as anyone would be, that majority of my friends left for school and I was stuck at home. Now, I am 100 percent content with my decision, because I am saving an ungodly amount of money, am living healthier and smarter than ever before, and have all university general education requirements met in my pocket. Although I have enjoyed my journey; figuring out community college, I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be graduating my community college early with an Associate’s degree in Art, and will be transferring to a university in the Spring of 2018 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. This being said, I could not recommend community college to anyone enough-- it has done only wonderful things for my education and individual character. Don’t do it for your parents, do it for yourself!!