Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing Community College
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Deciding on community college (CC)?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself, before saying yes or no.

Deciding on community college (CC)?
John Green, Bay Area News Group archivesCañada College, California

Doing two years at a community college (cc) before transferring to a university can be a good idea. A lot of money is saved. Plus, the size of most community colleges could make it a less intimidating experience compared to universities. Think of that large, bustling university campus that feels like a universe of its own.

But really, who doesn't want to be part of a huge, prestigious university? Who wouldn't want to spend all of their four life-changing years at a place they had been dreaming about since childhood? Also, who said large and bustling is not good? In fact, many students at BU, for example, often say that they ended up choosing Boston University-- because its urban.

Let's stop vacillating. Here's how to decide whether you should do community college (CC), or not.

Pose these essential questions to your frontal lobe or to someone who is considering CC:

1) How competitive are you? how competitive do you intend to be? do you need competitors to be competitive?

Don't worry about the professors: At the community college I attended at least, the professors were warm and brilliant at teaching. That's because community colleges focus on 'teaching'. And the thing is, nothing can truly stop you from being competitive and successful. Nonetheless, a CC does not have as many driven nerds as a university does, which means that if you need 'competitors' to be competitive, you might feel less pumped up to study. Furthermore, your classes might be less interesting and stimulating due to a lack of go-getters.

2) How much attention will you need from your professors?

I have to admit: I miss how often I was able to meet with my CC professors. I appreciate how caring they were to my needs as a student, which made it easier for me to approach them. Like I mentioned earlier, community colleges focus on teaching. You will get the attention if you need it and when you ask for it. You will. On the other hand, university professors seem to have a lot on their plate. They are usually busy conducting research experiments, attending conferences, or providing some sort of expert service to the community. That being said, you still have the power (and the right) to ask for their time and help (just know that they will not have much time for you each week).

3) How much do you love and need libraries?

Studying in a CC can be a let-down if you adore state of the art, full-of-ancient-books (more like tomes) kind of libraries. Besides the lack of grandness in CC libraries, you'll basically have access to fewer materials and resources. But it all depends on how much you 'need' the library--emotionally, resource-wise, etc. If you plan to make the library your second home and if you want a huge collection of resources, I highly recommend going to a university.

4) Are you the type of person who needs a dynamic social life which includes various activities?

Many community colleges do have clubs and organizations. If that's all you're looking for, great. Though, there is surely more to social life than clubs, right? CCs have no frats, sororities, dorms--how does one make and maintain connections and develop a social life that is not only fun but a source of support for some?

5) If you like to have friends, what kind of friends would you prefer to have?

Anyone can attend a CC. A mother with two teenage girls. A forty year old man who just immigrated from XXX. That's what makes CCs incredibly inspiring. Many adults at the CC I went to really got me galvanized---these are less-privileged people who let nothing stop them from attaining a college degree. Although I'm not sure they would have time to be friends with you. That's because they work part-time, have kids, and something called their own adult life. But what about people your age who intend to transfer to a four-year university? They will exist---and hopefully, they are just as committed and as driven as you, so that you have someone to have lunch with.

6) Do you plan to go into research one day?

CCs are good at teaching. However, there are no research labs at almost all CCs. Therefore, if you want to gain experience at a lab, say bye-bye to CCs. Head to research universities and start volunteering at labs as early as possible.

Yes it can be a tough decision to pick between a university and a CC. But remember, when you have choices, you are privileged......

And on whatever path, in whatever we do, isn't it true, what they say, that what you put in--what you give---shapes your experience?

Here's the link to the website of the CC I attended:

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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