Back in the day, there was a superstition about community colleges. People thought it was a place to go when you had no money and couldn't afford college, or if you were just not smart enough to get into a big college. Present day, this is a place people attend when they are trying to save money, want to live close to home, or have no idea what they are going to major in. I chose to go to Rock Valley College because I wasn't ready to leave home yet. I also didn't know what I wanted to major in.
My choice to attend this community college had nothing to do with financial issues or because I just wasn't smart enough to get into anywhere else, but I am so thankful I decided to start out at community college because of three main reasons: I saved a bunch of money, I graduated with a degree in two years, and I figured out what my passion was for the major I wanted to pursue.
1. I saved a bunch of money.
There are a few people I know who started out at a big school and figured out it wasn't for them. Their parents paid a lot for the tuition and many loans were taken out. They ended up back at a community college because they either didn't like their school, or couldn't figure out what they wanted to do. I got my first two years out of the way, which are your general education years. I saved myself from being in debt and having a bunch of student loans to pay back because I chose to go to a community college instead.
2. I graduated with a degree in two years.
Just because it's a community college, it doesn't mean you can't get a degree. I made out a two year plan of all the courses I needed to complete for my degree to make sure I only spent two years there. This even meant taking a few summer courses. Some people either don't meet with an advisor or aren't as organized so it takes them more than two years to get their degree - which is okay. I'm glad I got my degree, even though it's not in the field I am going for now, but it locked me in at my next college with the promise that everything will transfer.
Now I am right on schedule and don't have to worry about re-taking any general education courses for my next degree. Even if you aren't planning on going into the field you are getting your degree for, it is still smart to complete it because it will transfer you to most schools without you having to waste money on re-taking courses.
3. I figured out what my passion for a major was.
It took me two years to figure out what I wanted to do, and I am so glad I spent two years at a community college testing out different courses that were also required for my general education. If I wasn't able to try different types of classes I would've never found my passion. I know that if I would've gone away to a bigger school, I would have just kept blowing money away, year after year, until I figured out what I wanted to do. After browsing through my gen-ed courses, I ended up taking a couple business classes that counted towards my major and found out I actually loved it.
Now, two years later, I am on schedule with being in the classes I am supposed to be in. I am in an accounting program, and I don't have to worry about catching up or squeezing in my general education courses like so many other students are doing. Though community college may not be for everyone, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going if it is. Fortunately for me, community college was the best choice for me and allowed me to pursue my education with a lot of benefits of staying close to home.