When I tell people that I’m going to attend a community college, many people ask “Why?” Lots of people even make fun of the fact that I am not attending a college they deem acceptable. I’ve heard comments such as, “You’re going to get that community college education” or “ You’re too poor to afford an ‘actual’ college.”
Just because I’m not going to a college that costs around $10,000 and up a semester, doesn’t mean I’m not getting an education like those who are paying. College is college.
Community college is cheaper than most and you can get your general education done at a better price. The first two years are mainly for completing general ed classes such as English, math and communications, so why can’t I decide to go somewhere that’ll only charge me around $46 a unit compared to around $900? That’s about $550 a semester.
Some of us going to community college just aren’t ready for something else. I was accepted to Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, but I just wasn’t ready. Going to college is a big transition in students’ lives after high school, and some of us aren’t ready to go out on our own.
People don’t understand the other things we have to think about when going to college. There’s the questions we have to ask ourselves such as how are we going to afford college, where are we going to live, what is our transportation, who will provide us with the money for food, etc. No one thinks about the planning they have to do before college even starts, everyone just thinks, “I got into college, and now I’m going,” without considering the factors that could affect this “simple” plan.
My parents have provided for me my whole life. They set up all my appointments, pay for everything and drive me anywhere I want to go. Going away for college would be a big transition for me. I’d have to learn how to do everything on my own. That’s overwhelming and I can’t jump to taking complete care of myself all at once.
Community college is also a place where you can truly figure out what you want to do. You might go in as a certain major you’re not sure about or as undeclared and decide to change it because you realize you’re interested in something else. Community college has classes at a cheaper price where you can try new things and see what is for you. If you went to a big university without a major you know you want for sure, you’d have wasted thousands of dollars just to end up changing your mind and having to spend thousands more on your new decided education plan.
Don’t get me wrong, if I was ready to go to a university or a Cal State and had everything figured out, I would have. But I also believe no one should criticize community college attendees just because they don’t understand the reasons we might have chosen community college over going elsewhere.