I'm Proud To Be A Community College Alumni And You Should Be Too

I'm Proud To Be A Community College Alumni And You Should Be Too

Thanks to community college, I've taken so many opportunities that have come my way.
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Growing up, you're stuck with the same group of kids for 18 years. Your best friend in second grade becomes a total stranger by seventh, and your best friend in seventh grade becomes your worst enemy by junior year.

No matter the change in friendships or the drama you go through, you're all faced with a big decision that affects your futures. No longer will you wake up every day and sit next to the same person in class each year. Instead, you have to decide where you want to go next. You get a reality check: The group of kids you spent the last 18 years of school with aren't going to be around anymore.

So many seniors have no clue where they want to go for college or they may just not be able to afford it. In my case, I was completely clueless and paralyzed by fear thinking about the amount of debt that would be racked up and waiting for me after college graduation.

I had plans to attend a four-year university located at the heart of my state. So many others in my high school class were going to attend prestigious schools and had bright plans laid out ahead of them. Me? I didn't know what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that I was "suppose to" leave home and go off to college.

But instead, at the last minute, I took a different route. I attended a local community college, and the amount of shame I felt for it was ridiculous. Now, I feel no shame and I'm embarrassed that I ever felt that way.

Because I attended a community college does not mean that I am stupid. It doesn't mean I struggle with my studies. And it most definitely doesn't mean I am "less" than everyone else.

I had family members who were livid by my choice to attend a community college and I had friends who were mortally embarrassed.

All I wanted was support. Looking back at that point in my life, I was not ready to attend a four-year college. I wasn't ready to leave home. I had no idea what I wanted to do and that was perfectly okay.

By attending a community college, I was able to save money and grow academically, emotionally, socially, and mentally. In that time, I found a passion.

Since then, I have transferred to the school I originally laid eyes on my senior year of high school. My grades from my community college allowed for me to earn two scholarships to cover my tuition. I've taken so many opportunities that have come my way.

So the next time you laugh behind my back or shame me for my education, I'll be waving from my yacht while you are chained down by student loans. This isn't high school anymore. I don't care if I don't fit in with your traditional middle-class outlook on life. I am proud of the decisions I have made, and maybe you should be proud of me too.

Cover Image Credit: Indiana Public Media

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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