I am a straight-A student. My day is comprised solely of going to school and coming home to study for hours on end. My social life is more or less a bust, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I am not unlike an indentured servant to academia. Hold your sympathy. You may be surprised, but this life suits me.
I love to learn. I dream of college: the professors who will teach me, all the unknown concepts I have yet to learn. I am currently a junior, and it’s surprising how quickly the dream is morphing into reality. Juniors and seniors across the country are being hit over their head repeatedly with The Question: where will you be in 12-24 months’ time?
By next year, most of my classmates will respond to that question with an exact answer of what they will be doing during the next years of their lives: a job, gap year, or four-year college are all perfectly acceptable answers. But there is another seemingly unthinkable option: community college.
Everyone’s told that no one who has it together goes to community college. Community college is only a second chance school. Why would you wish that upon yourself? This is the general attitude I have experienced surrounding community college.
Why? How could a plan for your future become synonymous to “loser?” The vice president of the United States begs to differ.
“Community college is America’s best kept secret,” says Vice President Joseph Biden. I wholeheartedly agree. However, most people believe community college is a wonderful place only for returning students, students who did not do so well in high school, and students interested in a two-year vocational education. However, community college is also an amazing place for future brain surgeons, college professors, and anyone who wants to obtain a four-year degree or more.
At a four year university, students mainly take general courses their first two years, and then courses specific to their majors the last two years. By going to a community college the first two years, students are not missing anything that a four year college could offer. Community college has a lower cost for the same quality of education, and some say it’s even better. I have heard that many community college instructors are truly interested in teaching, whereas many four year university professors are more interested in publishing books or conducting research.
There are many success stories that come out of community college. The husband of my seventh grade English teacher started at a community college, and then transferred to Stanford. My own uncle started at a community college, and then transferred to UC Davis, and later attended vet school. He is now a successful veterinarian.
Coming clean: the allure of moving out, combined with my own insecurities about attending community college, will most likely result in me ending up at a four year university right out of high school. Although, I do want community college to be an option for me. I do not think anyone should cross community college off their list of possibilities simply because of social stigma.