The fall semester is an exciting time for freshmen in college all over the country. It marks a new chapter in life with new beginnings, new friends, new teachers, and a new atmosphere.
For some people this might include moving away from the place you called home for years, decorating a university dorm room, and meeting your roommate that you stalked on social media for months leading up to move in.
For others, it might include enrolling in a local community college and still living at home while enjoying home cooked meals with your family. Either way is still exciting and something to look forward to while making the adjustment from high school life to college life.
Of course, with all of that excitement comes the same debate every year. The four-year university students vs. the community college students.
People from each group always seem to think they’re more superior than the other but at the end of the day, those people are just as lame as their Twitter arguments.
It always seems to start with a university student thinking that they have a higher status than a community college student. They think that because they’re strutting around a Big Ten, Big 12, or SEC campus they’re more of a student than someone at a community college.
They think that community college is for the kids that slacked off in high school and couldn’t get into a university. They have this stereotype in their minds that they just can’t seem to get past.
Once a university student starts to claim this imaginary higher status, it is inevitable that community college students are going to fight back. This almost always consists of comments about money and how they’re going to end up being more successful because they won’t have a ton of debt to pay off.
Following that is usually a comment about how they’re probably learning more than a university student because they’re not out drinking all the time because that’s all that students at universities do, right?
You probably identified with one of these groups at some point in time and even made some of these same arguments. But there is one thing that everybody needs to understand… both sides are wrong.
As a student at a four-year university, it drives me absolutely insane when people look at me and ask, “why are you paying thousands of dollars when you can get the same education for way cheaper?”
If I have the opportunity to attend the school that was number one on my list, then why wouldn’t I? I love home but I also have wanted nothing more than to be able to experience college at a university.
People always say if you want it, go and get it. So this is me going and getting it. And if that means I’ll have more debt than you to pay off when I graduate, then so be it. Money doesn’t define success.
It is also important to understand that sometimes people aren’t as fortunate and can’t afford to leave home to attend a university right away. Or maybe someone just performs better academically in a smaller setting, and that’s totally okay. The four-year university plan isn’t for everybody.
If you need to take a couple years to figure yourself out first, do it. Community college shouldn’t be looked down upon. The education might cost less, but it definitely doesn’t mean less.
People these days always think they have a say in other people’s lives. At the end of the day, a degree is a degree no matter how you achieved it.
Students at universities and community colleges need to stop trying to prove why their route of education is better than the other. When it comes to getting an education, do what is personally best for you.
The only person you should be worrying about and competing with is yourself.