I remember dreaming of the day when I moved out of the house, moving far away to a university where no one knew my name. I wanted something bigger. I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to make everyone proud.
But that all changed once I found myself walking into a small, one-building community college. It was lit by yellow, dim lights, brown carpet from the seventies (I assume), and aged chalkboards. I remember parking the car and taking a deep breath. That building would be where I would spend the next few years, whether it was my dream or nightmare. I had to climb the bridge and get over it.
I felt like a failure. I was embarrassed and angry. I didn't want anyone knowing that I went to a cheap, god-forsaken community college. I thought I hated it. It was not what I had planned. But looking back, I realize I had it all wrong.
Because now that I have finished all I could at the small school, (**major plot twist**) I am a major advocate for community college. Let me tell you why.
It saved me a bunch of money!
Let's face it- college ain't cheap, especially at a university. I mean, there is a reason why broke college kids eat instant noodles every single night. But the good news? Going to community college has allowed me to stay debt-free. Right now, I am entering my fourth semester and haven't had to sacrifice a single goat and give my entire life away. Oh. Sorry. I mean, I haven't had to take out a single loan.
It gave me more time to figure stuff out (soul-searching works, man).
Sometimes, going headfirst into university isn't the most ideal plan, especially when you're unsure of what you want to do. I never faced this issue, thankfully, but I know plenty of people of have. And guess what? That's perfectly normal.
Starting out at a community college can allow one to find what subjects really interest them, or if college is even the right course for them. It's better to spend a couple grand and realize college isn't for you, rather than going into debt and realizing it isn't for you.
It taught me how to slowly gain Independence, rather than going completely crazy right away.
College is notorious for wild parties, casual hookups and anything in-between. After all, it is a new start. There are tons of new people, new options and only a few people know your name. Sounds fun, really.
But as someone who was a little sheltered from such things, I am deathly afraid that I would've taken those few steps of independence and thrown it away like a wild pig.
The funny thing is, at community college, this is nearly impossible. Sure, there are still parties, drinking and other collegey things, but there are little chances to go absolutely crazy. After all, my college was in my county. People knew me. Heck, sometimes even my professors knew me. I wasn't about to lose my dignity there.
Now, I have learned how to balance this great independence, and I still have a little dignity left.
So, in the end, I turned into a complete advocate for community college. And truthfully? I never saw that coming. But I am glad I went.