I Don't Regret Going to Community college

I Don't Regret Going to Community college

Community college is not a lesser education.

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After going to college for a few years, I have learned somethings along my way. This knowledge I have gained has not always been in the classroom. I have seen the importance of different perspectives, taken chances on new experiences, and understood you decide the path you take while attending college. One thing is for sure though, to some community college is a lesser education. It is a place for dropouts, burnouts, and people who aren't "smart enough" to go to a 4-year university right off the bat.

After going through my local community college and then now attending a 4-year university, I know firsthand that these perceptions about community college are not true. I only attended school at my local community college for one year due to a once in a lifetime opportunity that I don't regret doing, but in the end, I do not regret my choice to attend community college.

It is not just about the financial differences between a 4-year university and a community college.

Yes, attending your local community college can save significant money and reduce student loans for the future, but that is not the only benefit of going to community college. For one, you get to have two different college experiences. From a smaller campus to a large university, you get to meet different people whether students or faculty, unique college cultures, and an overall new experience. Going to a community college first gives you opportunities you may not have at larger universities. In the majority of your classes, you can truly get to know your professors and classmates because of the smaller class sizes. You are not just a number. This aspect of getting to know others around me is very important to me because I come from a small rural community and high school. I wasn't sure how well the transition would go from living in a town of 200 people to attending a campus of over 40,000 people would be.

Attending a community college was a stepping stone for me of a gradual increasing educational system. Not only are the size of classes or the financial savings can be benefits of community college, but you have two extra years to grow older and wiser. You can get a chance to learn more about yourself before venturing off and being on your own. The difference between being 18 and 20 aren't huge numerically, but the personal development you do while in those two years is tremendous. In my opinion, going to a community college first gives students of all backgrounds and career goals an advantage because of financial savings, experiences. and so much more.

Trying to limit people's educational options is hurting different job sectors like the trade industry for instance, but not we are putting an unnecessary burden on students to fit into a certain mold of education. Not everyone is made for a 4-year university, but also just as important, not everyone's career goals align with a 4-year degree. Going to a trade school, getting a certificate, or obtaining an associate's degree does not lessen the person's education they gained. I am proud to have gone to community college to get some of my general education classes because in the end, this was my best decision for me. Whether you attend community college or not, don't undervalue the benefits of these opportunities can bring you.

Do your research, find your passion, and make sure the decisions you make towards your future are the best for you.

Cover Image Credit:

Corrine Harding

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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.

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The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.

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My Future Career Is More Than A 'Glorified Babysitter' Position, Despite What You May Think

I am an education major and extremely proud of it.

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This is a topic that has been on my heart a lot this week. As an Education major, I've heard it all. "Do you know how much teachers make?" Yes. "You ACTUALLY like kids?!?" Yes, I LOVE them. "Why would you do that to yourself?" Because I love it. Because I love being an Education major, I've become extremely passionate about defending it. However, I'm getting tired of feeling like I have to.

This career choice is something that I'm proud of. I know that being a teacher means sacrificing several things. I know that it means sacrificing your financial security. I know that it means sacrificing your ability to not be constantly thinking about 30 other kiddos all of the time. I know that I'll be sacrificing my right to be selfish. If you think about it, everything that a teacher does is utterly selfless. They dedicate their entire college career and teaching career to make sure that YOU understand the material. They spend several chunks of their own money on their classroom to provide an environment that enhances your learning. It's selfless. And it takes a person who recognizes that fact to be a teacher.

Teaching also has many dimensions, that nobody actually thinks about. For example, the class description for one of my classes says that it "Focuses on multicultural and interdisciplinary literature appropriate for middle grades students; implements and evaluates effective multicultural, interdisciplinary instruction through selection, use and development of literature in middle grades classroom" (TAMU catalog). Within this class, I was required to authenticate texts (make sure that they're culturally appropriate), learn about how to build a culturally-diverse classroom library, and how to teach without microaggressions. And these things only scratch the surface of the content that I was required to know for this class. People seem to forget that this is only one aspect of teaching, making sure everyone feels included socially and culturally. So please tell me how "glorified babysitter" fits into this description.

Also, good teachers work extremely hard. A good teacher knows that every child is on a different level and teaches so that each child understands that material. Good teachers present the material in a way that visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners can understand. They use a strategy called differentiation to "instruct a diverse group of students, with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment" (Glossary of Education Reform). Also, there will always be special education kiddos who come into the general education classroom for a subject or two, and it's important that good teachers have a lesson prepared specifically for that student that meets their IEP goals. These IEP goals are "Annual goals are statements that identify what knowledge, skills and/or behaviors a student is expected to be able to demonstrate within the period of time beginning with the time the IEP is implemented until the next scheduled review" (naset.org).

Teachers also have to worry about the kiddos who come from broken, abusive, and low socioeconomic households. One of the biggest things that I have learned so far is that a hungry student is a distracted student. There are several students that go to bed hungry and don't eat a lot over the weekend because their family cannot afford it. It's important to know that if you're going to get a student to listen to you, you've gotta keep some crackers or trail mix with you at all times in case they cannot focus because of their lack of food. With that, the other battle with teaching is handling the parents. Some are wonderful, others... not so much. I haven't had to experience this yet personally, but I'm prepared.

The key ingredient in being a good teacher is not the lesson you prepare, but the relationships that you develop with your students. I have sat through countless classes, and not once have I remembered the material taught word for word, but I have remembered the relationship that I've had with the teacher or professor. Being a teacher means that:

"students want to know that you care before they care about how much you know"

Building a relationship with 30+ kids is hard, but it's possible. You have to know that it's okay to admit your personal struggles and show that you are not a robot. Having a relationship with your kids means apologizing when you realize that you taught or did something wrong. Having a relationship means caring about things that students also care about. If they're concerned about something, it's your job to ask about it. Being a relational teacher means asking yourself: "what can I learn from my students today?"

I cannot wait to be a teacher, which entails a lot more than a "glorified babysitter". I cannot wait to teach the future generation everything that they need to know to be successful. I cannot wait to build really cool relationships with them, and see the graduation invitations from them when they graduate with master's degrees from somewhere. I am excited to love on my students and do something with my life that is worthwhile.

However, I know that I am not the only major who feels like they must defend themselves from the rest of society. What I've learned is that everyone will not understand you or what you love. Our job is to educate them respectfully. Every career choice is valid. Everybody does a different job in this world for a good reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and that's a good thing! Someone whose brain is wired to be a car salesman probably would not thrive as a scuba diver. Someone who is extremely good at math should probably not try to pursue a career in teaching collegiate literature. We're all different and we all have different passions. Not everyone will understand, and that's okay. Let's do our part to help them understand.

I am a future teacher, and I'm proud of it.

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