To those of you who have been putting yourself through college, bending over backwards to make ends meet, and using your weekends to get in more hours instead of partying, I applaud you.

Through meeting tons of new people in college I have discovered a variety of situations that my friends and peers deal with on the daily—and no, I’m not talking about the stress of school work and assignments, but the draining stress of finances.

This is a touchy subject and a subject in which some students don’t have to deal with at all.

But today I recognize the stigma that I have heard linger since high school…

“I’m not going to community college, there’s no way.”

The number of times I have heard students talk this way about community college is unbelievable. I get it, you want to live on your own, get away from your parents, thrive through independence, and have the full college experience. But why is there such a shame against people who choose the alternate route?

Whether you have to personally pay for your education or not, college is expensive across the board. Between loans, scholarships and grants, it can still be ridiculously hard and stressful for students and parents. The issues and complications that money can cause within a family can be deteriorating especially when it comes to education.

So, before you’re so quick to say that you would never attend community college, consider a few things.

Going to college is a privilege, regardless of what institution you attend.

You have no idea what someone is going through at home, be conscious.

College isn’t for everyone; community college is a great way to give it a try.

Just like anything else, you shouldn’t bash what you haven’t experienced.

We’re only human. We’re all doing the best we can.

Just think about it. Be grateful for your education and if you’re fortunate enough to continue it after high school make sure to remember that not everyone is doing the same.