What I Learned From Going to a Community College Before a University

What I Learned From Going to a Community College Before a University

Here are some things I want to pass on from my experience as a transfer.


I went to Northeast Mississippi Community College for my freshman year and transferred to Mississippi State for my sophomore year. Overall, I made a lot of mistakes when it came to priorities and making time for having fun. I finished my freshman year classified technically as a junior because of all the time I spent in the books. If I could go back, these are some of the things I wish I had known or done differently.

Community college is NOT free like everyone tells you. 

Community college is cheaper, but it is not free. I have a 28 on my ACT which gained a free tuition at NEMCC, plus I had other scholarships and grants, however, if you pick up extra classes or summer classes, those aids do not apply like they normally would. Classes were cheaper, but I paid close to $3,000 out of pocket to pick up summer and online classes.

Classes at a community college aren't always easier.

Rumor has it that community college is *normally* easier than at a university. This was not true for me at all. I was a Biology major at the time, and I doubled up on my maths and sciences. I will tell you that I have NEVER taken a class that challenged my mentality more than my first ever Chemistry class that was at NEMCC. I would go home thinking that I was an idiot because I couldn't make higher than a D on any test. No matter where you are, you will always have to apply yourself and prepare to make the experience easier.

Take advantage of being around people that you've known for years.

Take comfort in the fact that you know 80% of your classmates from high school. Get to know the people that you only just "knew of". Find out their personalities and you never know, you may of had a long lost best friend in them. This is your second and last chance to make connections with some of them, so don't waste it.

Being involved makes your college experience better.

While at NEMCC, I was only involved in two clubs on campus, commuted every day, and I took a total class load of 49 hours by the end of my freshman year. I didn't take the time to be involved in extracurriculars or fun things going on around campus. I was miserable there because I didn't try to assimilate myself. I would drive there for classes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and drive straight home. College is enjoyable if you make it that way, and the first step is to be involved.

Don't be afraid to leave home. 

As a high school senior, I was terrified to be alone in the world. I did not want to leave my home, my parents, my friends, etc. and move to a new city. Thinking back, CC was a great steppingstone for people like me, but I missed out on a lot of opportunities at MSU and making new memories on my own there. I wish I could tell myself that its okay to fly the nest. There is a world of opportunities to explore if you give it a chance.

With more freedom comes more responsibility. 

Let me be brutally honest with this one. College professors will not be like your hs football coach that was also your history teacher. They are there to get paid, not to be your cool adult friend. If you don't scan in to class or turn an assignment in on time, they will not hunt you down. They could care less. You have to take it upon yourself to be responsible and plan things out. Learning how to schedule things early on at CC made it 1000x easier once I piled my class load on at MSU.

Do internships or shadowing early on. 

Finding out what you want to do with your life will take some time. I would suggest to do as many shadowing or internship opportunities early to narrow down your field of possibilities. Also, doing them at a CC, you can earn certificates to add a few extra $$$$ later on to your paycheck.

College parking sucks everywhere.

The title says it all. Parking passes or not, every student parking lot will be full. Go ahead and be prepared for the frustration tears and a late scan in, or make it a habit to be very early *sigh*. Also, do not test campus police or parking services. Just. Don't. Even. Try.

Learn how to use a library and its resources early on.

I had never stepped foot in a real library until college. College is a whole new level of studying and all nighters. Learn how to use a library and utilize study opportunities as much as possible. Also, be nice to the people who work in there. They can help you with research in so many ways that you wouldn't know about on your own.

Make connections with new people.

Don't be afraid to talk to the people in your classes. You are all on the same struggle bus, so might as well make a new friend. The friendships I made at NEMCC followed me on to MSU. I was very blessed to have a great friend group that was there every night in the library with me struggling through Chem to moving to Starkville and having fun in the District.

All in all, I'm sad/happy that I did use my first year to get the hang of things at my local community college. I do feel like I missed out on the dorm life and perks of being a freshman at a University (Greek life, I'm talking about you and the wonderful house meals for a year). Even though I missed out, I needed that extra year crutch. As of today, I've accomplished so much: I rushed Phi Mu last fall; I am the Vice President for the Transfer Student Association; I am an active person on campus, and I've gotten to work with Admissions at MSU and make videos for other incoming students; I love my major; I'm a Creator for the Odyssey at MSU; I am a part of so many other things, but most importantly, I am happy. I'm exactly where I want and need to be right now, and I couldn't be any more blessed.

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11 Harsh Truths About Sorority Rush College Girls Should Find About Now, Not In September

For any young woman that is about to go through sorority rush, here's what to REALLY expect.


There's a common theme of every sorority making it seem like rush is the best time in the world, and that Greek life is the best thing since sliced bread. While I'm not knocking the fact that some people probably really do enjoy rush, there are some harsh truths that I believe every young woman should know before heading into recruitment.

I gathered some quotes from different women from different sororities here at Jacksonville State to give you the most honest, unbiased, expectations and truths for going into recruitment.

1. Give it some time. 

"You're going to want a sorority that you're not going to get. 9 times out of 10 you won't go where you *think you belong. But-- where you end up is exactly where you're meant to be. My sorority was next to last on my list, but I decided that I was going to give it some time. Now, I've found my forever home. "

2. You have to be open-minded.

"Don't cater your personality to the sorority you think is best. You won't end up loving it because you won't connect with the girls. Be open-minded."

3. Be yourself. 

"My honest truth is that I thought I'd have to go in and put on a big smile and just be who they wanted me to be in order to get a bid. That's how I was in every single room except for the one that I got a bid from. I was only myself in the room I was sure I didn't want and because I showed my true colors, that's what made it my home."

4. Leave with no regrets. 

"Rush is about finding someplace that is your home and that you belong. I would advise girls not to be heartbroken if it turns out that a Panhellenic sorority is not their home here at Jacksonville State, because they can find their home in other organizations! Rush is also an opportunity to find friends. So, get out there and build relationships with the girls you meet because that's what I regret the most- not being open to new friendships and being too nervous."

5. They're just as nervous as you are. 

"Don't go into a room thinking that you're better than the women already standing in it. They've worked so hard all summer to perfect this week, for YOU. They are tired. They are nervous. They are excited. They might trip on their words. They might get uncomfortable if you act like you'd rather be dead than in their party. Even if you don't believe that sorority is your home, be nice. Your attitude in every room during rush will follow you."

6. Sisterhood makes it worth it.

"Recruitment is emotionally draining and you think it won't ever end, but it's so worth the sisterhood that comes from it."

7. Stay true to yourself. 

"Umm, I would say recruitment is probably going to be one of the most stressful times that a girl is going to go through coming into college! You will feel pressure from every aspect just trying to make sure you make the right decision and end up in the right one. While we are all fundamentally similar it breaks down to very different girls and you need to make sure you stay true to yourself so you will actually enjoy the sorority and girls that you end up around. If you can just make it through and not care what others have to say about where you wanna go ( because people will try to tell you where you should go) stay true to yourself and do what's best for you."

8. Trust the system.

"You don't always get the sorority you think you want, but it usually ends up being better for you in the long run. Trust the system."

9. Just breathe.

"With all honesty, my best advice is to be yourself. Recruitment can be very stressful and sometimes a little overwhelming, but just go based off your heart. Do not let your friends make the decision for you because their choice may not be your best fit. You can still be friends and be in different sororities. Now there is a possibility that you are torn between two sororities and that's okay. Just breathe and think about who you see yourself with more and figure out what YOU want."

10. Don't stress yourself out.

"While recruitment is very draining and stressful, take time for yourself to de-stress and relax after your parties. Get a good nights sleep, and think about your values and how you truly connect to the women you had met that day."

11. It's not for everyone.

"Greek life is wonderful, but it's not the only place to find belonging. If you go through rush and don't find your home, don't be discouraged. You're not going to lose any of your friends because they joined a sorority and you did not. There are tons of other opportunities to get involved and make friends in other organizations."

I'm not writing this to scare anyone away from Greek life. I'm writing this to give, the young women who are about to rush, real and honest expectations and opinions from women who've already been through the process. There are so many benefits to joining a sorority. Lifelong friends, job connections, campus opportunities, connecting with others who share your values.

Even though Greek life won't be a perfect fit for everyone, you can still get these same things I just listed by joining any other campus organization. It's all about finding where you really belong.

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Lessons Learned ​From The Experiences Of Five Freshman Girls

Good lessons to learn from these five Freshman who learned them the hard way


I've wondered what people pinpoint as "learning moments" in their lives. I have had quite a few in 2019 so far and mine seem to be worlds different than others' around me. So, I asked around to people I trust and love, what they have learned so far in college.

Each of these humans has come from a different walk of life and most of them don't know each other. They all walk on the same campus, breath the same air, go to the same classes, and yet, their lives look really different.

My one and only question: "tell me some things you learned being in college?"

A good, good friend I met on my first floor this semester was Jacqui Kling. Freshman here at Oral Roberts University, Jacqui comes from a really level headed family with 3 older brothers. She is kind, compassionate, considerate and a deep thinker. She is the kind of leader that other leaders want to follow. This past year, college life has taught her "how to say no to things and how to not be easily offended." As an upcoming RA on the ORU campus, she also took a minute to talk about her leadership opinion, expressing that "leaders are intercessors, and it's not about us changing people, it's God changing people through us [leaders]." She said that she is "leading through influence," and she expressed that she wasn't a manager, she was an influencer. Her actions mattered in leadership just as much as her words. Another important lesson Jacqui said she learned was that the "Holy Spirit is accessible to us any time of the day, even for things that we think are unimportant." Her last point and the thought I ponder quite often is that "though they may, I may not."

xoxo Thanks Jacqui, you're a peach.

A Holy woman of God that has shocked me since the moment I met her is Helena Harper. Do not underestimate her. She is so sincere, loves and fears God and gives her all to her passions. Asking Helena about the things she has learned thus far in college, she started with "well, I learned that spirit empowered leadership is real." She also said that "extended times of prayer are real and make a change." She reminded me of something that I forget a lot by saying that "Jesus loves me all the time, even when I hate myself. I am always loved, even when I feel hated." When I asked her about her relationship with God and how that overflows into her relationships, she said that she never tries to convert people or throw the bible in their face. She simply "spends time with God, then talks to people..." Out of the overflow of her heart comes forth love and kindness, and it is evident in her every word.

I loved getting to know Helena this year, and I have a feeling I am gonna wanna keep her as a longtime pal.

Katie Watrous was one of those people with a story that you "OMG" to like, a million times. She has been through the fire and back, and yet she loved honestly and she is not afraid to hold onto her truth. This year she learned about "intentionality in relationships, meaning, who I allow to pour into me. I am also intentional with my time and with my time spent with God." Knowing some of Katie's story, the next thing she said she learned really blessed my heart. She said that she "learned school isn't everything. College is just 4 years. A small four years compared to the rest of our lives. There is more to life than school. There is even more to THIS season of life than just school." My translation of that is that there is never a need for a boring, dull season. A season of life can be filled with excitement and wonder or quiet rest and peaceful healing.

Katie is someone I admire and look up to for strength and perseverance.

Breanna is a powerhouse singer/songwriter who I spent most of my time with. She is strong and mighty, loves deeply, and is not afraid to tell you what's up. Her points were simple: "There is a proper way to choose friends and you don't need to be friends with everyone." That one hit me good. There is a difference to me between saying, "I don't have to be friends with everyone," and "I don't need to be friends with everyone." Food for thought.

I loved hanging with Breanna and hearing her heart, getting to know her family and seeing the world through her eyes. She taught me a lot.

Let's not forget that I also learned some things this semester. I found out this year that I genuinely just care about people. I love making anyone in the room feel like they are the most important. I enjoy the challenge of pulling the misfits out of the shadows and giving them a voice. I don't call them projects and I don't think about them that way either. I just know that everyone had talents and opinions, but sometimes the louder people get all the spotlight.

I also learned that every moment is precious, and living in the moment is worth it. I have lived my whole life looking forward to the next best thing, almost completely taking for granted the good things right in front of me. This semester, I started as a freshman and ended as a junior. Just like that, two years turned into one semester. I have very little time to experience a multitude of things people learn in college. Keeping myself in the moment is important for me. I want to enjoy my time, my major and my relationships.

I learned the hard way that Jesus is irreplaceable. Nothing can replace the lessons learned in the presence of God. It's important for me to, if I am going to be diligent about anything, be diligent about being in the prayer room daily, the scriptures every morning, and in the presence of God. Nothing can replace what I learn from God.

Finally, I learned that God's plans are actually way better than mine, and that should encourage me! I am a planner, an executor. However, I question whether or not I am making the right plan. Following God's plan takes the pressure off my shoulders to pick the perfect path. He guides me, and I simply listen.

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