The Community College Experience
Updated: Jun 13, 2019
Growing up, I always had a negative notation about going to a local community college. Most times in my high school experience, it was referenced as the “13th” grade. If you go there, you’ll just run into the same classmates. Another one, was it was good for the “undecided”. Community college was for the kids who didn’t know where nor got into college. At the time, I was pretty convinced of what I wanted to be and where I wanted go. Along with the social pressure of graduating from a prestigious school. But actually going there, blessed my life y’all! My GPA went significantly up, the flexibility of class schedule, and more! So if you’re thinking about continuing or starting your academic career, pay close attention to this post.
It was the Summer of 2012, and I had to make one of the biggest decision in regards to continuing my education. After my second transfer to another private institution, I ran out of financial aid and support. And, I was planning a wedding the next following summer. And I didn’t want to be much a financial burden nor too far away from my family. So it was a blessing that I was able to enrolled within the same summer of making the decision. Going there as a new start, really benefitted me. Here were some of the benefits:
1. Fresh New Start
After leaving the Christian College experience completely, community college presented the best opportunity for a fresh restart. There were so many different programs. Many programs also correlated with the ones from Rowan! Which really helped. So when I got into Rowan, I‘m already adjusted in my program. There were so many helpful resources such as childcare programs. As a person which did a lot of transfers, it also help with credits too!
Going to a private out-of-state institution can be very expensive. The tuition alone is a good another reason! Both semesters were not even half the cost of semester at out state college living on campus. Not only just financially, but your energy, time, and mileage. Living on campus for two years, I felt very restricted to only being on campus especially without car. Being at home, gave me access to a car and working full time. So not only I was saving money, but I was making money too.
Community College was very flexible for this full time employee-prego-newlywed. I loved the variety of scheduling different classes. One semester I worked completely overnights, and I was able to take classes online. Sometimes if my schedule at work changes, I could schedule classes all in one day or certain times of the day. One semester, I even took classes all at night. This is something I missed greatly switching back to the traditional university format. Although, I always remained a full time student the time I was there, the status to be a full time student was low. Instead of the 15 or 12 credit to be full time, you can have 9 credits to be considered full time. So you can focus on one or two classes at time. The flexibility helped my gpa go from 2.1 to graduating to 3.4. Flexibility at community college is not something that you should take for granted .
4. Familiar Faces
Unlike what I thought, it wasn‘t that bad seeing former classmates. It was actually refreshing to see them in a new light. In fact, while I was enrolled, one semester alone I was with two brothers, and host other church members that were within my peer group. It’s not even a distraction. It’s actually beneficial to share similar experiences with others. Speaking from having multiple college experiences, community college students were most focused. Because community college students don’t have the time. Unlike most four year universities where students go to “figure it out”. You don’t have the time, so the goal is get in and out within a two year program. As well as balancing the home life. So the focus is completely different.
If I haven’t already convinced you how beneficial community college can be as starter program for your career, please try it for yourself. Everyone is on their own journey at their own place. And works for you, works for you. So if you’re thinking about a place to start, try out community college, it’s affordable and flexibility to your own place in life. I hope you enjoyed this read and please continue to share. 💕