We have the tendency to compare different colleges that are around us and label them according to stereotypes made about that school. That can easily transform into something different entirely - it can convince people not to apply to a certain school because they don't want their college to be something that people laugh at. They want their degree to mean something to not just themselves, but they want their school to have a good reputation.
Even when I was graduating high school, whenever people would say where they had decided to go to college, people were judging them for it. Take me for example. When I graduated I told people I was going to go to Radford University. I had toured the school a couple different times and fell in love with so many aspects of it. I loved the community feel, I loved that the school wasn't so big that you could get lost really easily, and I loved that they let me in even with my slip-up halfway through high school.
People label Radford as "the party school" and I have written an article about how that makes me feel. I won't repeat what other school's reputations are because in my opinion when you say what the reputation of a certain school is even in passing you are validating the reputation.
For the longest time, I had a negative perception of community colleges in general. I thought that if someone decided to attend a community college right out of high school that they were slackers who didn't put in the work to attend a "real college." I see now how extremely messed up that is. People who attend community college are either trying to save money or have a reason that they want or need to be close to home. I feel bad for even having had that perception of community colleges. This summer I am taking a class at the community college and it's great having really small class sizes and a small community feel.
Every single one of us no matter what school we go to are putting in the work for our future. No matter if you start off by going to community college or you go to a smaller university because it is more cost efficient - you are putting in a lot of work to make your life better and people should be commending you for it not trying to tear you down.
People also think automatically that when someone graduates from high school that they are automatically going to enroll in a university because it is the traditional thing to do. I know people who have had other paths like going to trade school or getting a job and supporting themselves. Overall, I think that people need to stop judging people's life choices and just support them and make sure that they are happy with the decisions that they are making for their life - because it is their life.