As someone who decided to attend a four-year university, I had to think long and hard about the beautiful option that is community college — as should everyone who is of college age. It took me a while to decide what I wanted to jump into, but after countless pros and cons lists, visits, and economic considerations, I decided that a four-year university was the place for me.
However, the hardest thing for me to see is when people are embarrassed or ashamed that they decided to go the other route and attend a community college. Many of my friends didn’t even stand up at our graduation ceremony when their community colleges were called out, due to that silly stigma that makes community college out to be a place for those who can’t get into four-years.
This is absolutely not true. Everyone is different, and there’s no specific formula as to how one should choose where to go to further their education. Your choice depends on so many factors that are unique to us all. During my research in choosing the best college for me, I was able to generate a list of benefits of attending a community college that may aide you in making your decision.
College debt is a huge topic of conversation lately… as it should be. Any which way you go, college is going to be super expensive. Lucky for us, we get to choose how much debt we are about to get ourselves into. Community college is an economical way to go about the college experience, and nobody should be ashamed to have to go that route.
Living at home for an extra couple of years may seem like a drag, but think about it: home cooking, paid rent, and extra time with your ever-loving parents before “real” adulthood hits. If you look for community colleges in your area, you’re bound to find one that’s just a short bus ride away from home.
Choosing a major
Do we all know exactly what we want to do with our lives? Probably not. Community college is an especially fantastic option when one is in doubt about the career path they should choose. It’s a great place to explore all of your options and take classes experimentally so that you’re not throwing money and time down the toilet.
Being a full-time student at a four-year doesn’t leave a ton of time for things like a social life or a job. Community colleges generally have more flexible time schedules for their students (as long as you register early!). This makes it so that you can still go out and make a living for yourself or even just have some extra free time—a sort of break from what we’re used to from high school.
One thing that you’ll notice taking classes at a community college is that the professors are there because they want to be there. It’s not like at a four-year where you’re taught by a T.A. in a giant lecture hall. Community college teachers generally write their own textbooks and really know what they’re talking about, which is a big help when it comes to understanding content.
Image source: republic3-0.com and educationusa.state.gov
Petra is an International Affairs major at CU Boulder. She's from Venice Beach, California, and she plays Ultimate Frisbee and Volleyball in her free time.