Two years ago, my eyes were set on moving out and going away to college. Everyone else was, so why couldn't I? What was stopping me? I began to believe that graduation from high school meant freedom. That is far from the truth. Graduation meant adulthood, and adulthood meant responsibility.
I was set on attending a private university. They had my dream program, beautiful dorms, and fountains everywhere I set foot. It was a dream come true. But part of choosing a college meant comparing costs. Let me tell you, if you're in high school, you have no concept of how much things cost in the real world. You just don't. Once you understand that, the rest comes a bit easier.
College is an investment. Like a car or a home. It's not just an "experience." An experience is a cruise or a road trip. College is a place where you go to gain wisdom in your field and hopefully grow personally.
Now, I don't want to discourage you from your dream school. Go for it! 100%! Absolutely do everything in your power to get every award, every scholarship, and every grant. That's what I did! Just make sure your willing to pay the price for your education. Find out how much you can make at an entry level job in your field, how much you will pay per month in student loans, and how much money you need for the basics of living (housing, food, and clothes). You may be surprised by how much money it costs to just have the basics. And with student loans on top of the cost of living, graduation from college could be less of a celebration and more of the realization that now you have to pay for the last four years of your life while trying to move on into the future.
I understand that university life is very important to a lot of people, and I too would love to be apart of it. But I have found that community college has its own world of benefits at a much lower cost.
So why not stay at home a little longer? Go to your local community college and save some money, well, a lot of money. Room and board at a university tend to cost more than tuition! Plus, staying home allows for flexibility in your schedule to shadow, intern, work, and socialize.
And if you're not sure exactly what you want to do, community college is the greatest time to start finding business connections and finding out what you like and don't like about different careers.
Here's the thing, no one told me about community college. By the grace of God, I stumbled upon the school I attend now. We have so many great universities available in our nation, so no one even bothered to mention the cheapest and most practical option for education. So I hope to save you some money, and maybe some time. Community college is awesome. I love it! My professors care a lot, my classes are small, I get the help I need, and I don't have to share a bathroom in the morning with anyone.
Sure, everyone else is getting the "college experience" but I'm creating my own experiences! I am taking two years to get all my general education out of the way and then transferring into a specific program at a four-year university. And while I'm taking classes I am an intern at a marketing company, edit videos as a freelancer, eat dinner with my family, watch my sister dance at the football games, go to church with my friends, and sleep in my own bed. And man, I love my bed.
Every adult I have spoken to has said that I have made the wisest decision a young adult can make. So don't write off community college just yet.
Follow my page, there are surely to be more community college tips on the way!