Friday, February 12, 2010
Community College is FAKE College?
"Oh, THAT'S where you're going next year? Don't you mean high school part 2?"
And that's where it begins. The teasing, frustration, and downright ignorance. At my high school if you were going to community college after graduation, it was almost considered social suicide. The reasons behind this disgust are pretty unstable. A lot of students after graduation made it a point to go to a pricey university right off the bat, whether or not they had any idea what they were going to major in. Parties away at school, new faces and most of all no parents! - seemed to be the major selling point. But for those that stayed at home to keep working and go to school at a reduced cost - we aren't living the life. We aren't getting a "real" college experience. For the most part, we're living with our parents and going to school with people that -gasp- we went to high school with. Oh, the horror!
The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to community college. The general population appears to believe that because our tuition per credit hour is incredibly cheaper than your average university, we're receiving a "discounted" "cheap" "rip-off" education. However, if you're here for your general education courses - which most are - all colleges in the state have the same outlines, guidelines, requirements, WHATEVER you'd like to call it for general education courses. They're general education. They're general. Anyone can take them, no matter where they are or what they cost. So really, community college students are just receiving an education, the same education, at a bargain.
Another "unappealing" side to community college is that it's "just like high school" because many people from your graduating class will be there. So...if there's so many of us taking this path, aren't we doing something right?
In my six classes, I have one fellow graduating member from my high school's class of 09. One. And it happens to be a good friend of mine - - totally unplanned. And seeing other people I graduated with in the halls? It happens. Not every five seconds such as assumed, but every once in a while. It's really not that big of a deal, and I don't even think about it. When I see someone that I went to high school with I'm not thinking "oh my god I can't believe we go to the same school" - - we've ALWAYS gone to the same school! Nothing runs through my mind when I see this people. I either know them, like them and say hi, or just keep walking. End of story.
Also...community college doesn't give you the "college experience." Nope. It's not even a real school. It's fake. It's not like I'm going to be transferring to a university in a year and a half anyway... But you're right. I personally wouldn't consider community college your average college experience. In fact, I'd consider it a little bit harder and much more beneficial to living in the real world. Yes, I may live with my parents, and I'm in a town I've been in your entire life. But I find myself juggling work and school: not too many kids work as soon as they've gone off to college. I've never stopped. I find myself trying to make ends meet - socially, financially, academically, you name it. And while I may not be living in a dorm with a stranger and eating as much pizza, I feel like I'm really benefiting from the life lessons I have to learn here, and this is because I'm NOT out there getting that "college experience." This college experience would only distract me from being as successful as possible.
I don't party. Never have. If I would have gone off to a university this year instead, I still wouldn't have partied. I understand that people tend to affiliate college with partying, but what about the people that don't partake in partying? Does that make them less of a college student? Does that mean that they are missing out on a chance to enrich their lives? Well, of course not! Just because I were to go to a university does not mean I'm going to be living the Asher Roth lifestyle. So, minus the partying for me, what does that leave for my college experience? The school portion. And hey, I'm getting that RIGHT NOW, at my local community college! A fraction of the price, close to home so I can keep working to pay for my tuition (don't even get me started on the kids who have their parents pay for their entire schooling) and I'm having a great time. I can work and play, and to be honest, I've already found the perfect balance. I may not be leading the typical "college life," but I'm on the way to prepping myself for a very fantastic future in the real world, and believe me, that's not something you find in a dorm room or a frat party.
P.S. It's not high school part 2, no matter how many kids from my town go to the same school. I have yet to go to a school dance, football game, or pep rally. And believe me, there's a lot less drama. I WISH high school would have been as important and helpful as this.
P.P.S. I LOVE MY COMMUNITY COLLEGE! I should make a t-shirt.
UPDATE: I would say if you don't have anything nice to say to this don't say it at all... but now I'm saying bring it. I will defend every decision I've made in my life til the day I die. Hate on community college all you want...I'm not forcing you to go. Also, when commenting don't forget that I do plan to transfer to a university, this is not a university bashing here. Goodness, it's a defense of the community college is all.