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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Danger Of Future Tripping

Making small goals can help you achieve a better tomorrow.

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The future is mysterious. Because of this elusive, unknown timeline we all face, why shouldn't we spend our time daydreaming of our distant goals and desires? These dreams have a tendency to taunt us in our seemingly boring present life. But it feels so wonderful to visualize ourselves in a better, distant state of absolute satisfaction and fulfillment in all aspects of our future. This visual that we create of a happier, healthier, and stronger self, is what we consider to be our ending goal; our definition of success.

So what is future tripping, and why is it detrimental to our future success and present satisfaction with our lives? According to Healthyplace.com future tripping is a "human condition of peering into the imagined future and anticipating the outcome," but what's wrong with visualizing our "perfect" future career, future lifestyle, and future home, with a wood burning stove and all? Well, before I completely bash visualizing a "better" you, I have to give it credit because it gives you a motivator. The issue is that people, including myself, get so caught up in what we want rather than what we need to do to achieve this version of ourselves and our life.

If we were to only focus on our ending goal, we are creating an existence of madness, and impatience. We need to begin making smaller goals and smaller effort in an effort to become better. A peer of mine said something the other day that struck home. In my own words, he said, "You can only be better than the person you were yesterday." What a simple, achievable goal to work on daily. It sets the bar low, making it easier to feel satisfied as you lie in bed at night and think, "What did I do today that made me a better me than yesterday?" In making these small, easily achievable goals daily, you are working towards this future "self" you wish to become. In other words, you must walk before you can run.

The sooner we begin rewiring our consciousness to confront our current life, self, and mini goals, the more attainable and realistic our far-off goals will become. Each day must be lived, that is a fact. If we are always thinking about tomorrow, or a year from now, or decades from now, we are wasting the precious opportunities of living, exploring, and growing that today offers. If we continue to romanticize and future trip, our levels of current satisfaction will begin to plateau.

I'd like to add and reiterate, that it is good to plan, and that it is good to have an overarching goal to work towards. College presents a perfect environment for structuring your goals (career/life path), and giving you daily errands (homework) that slowly, but surely, take you closer to your desired outcome.

So I hope that in reading this, you will start to catch yourself from future tripping in those moments of current disappointment and make a goal to make tomorrow better.

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