Don’t give up on college

My time as a student at Los Medanos College is coming to an end, with this being my final semester before moving on to the next chapter in my life.

Looking back at the day I first enrolled here, I knew I was making the right decision to ensure a future for myself.
The decision to go to college is a hard one to make. For some it may seem like a no-brainer, but for someone like me, I couldn’t wait for high school to end.

Are you kidding? 12+ years in school and I now get to become an adult who can make my own choices? Hell, yes. Forget school, I’m going to enjoy some free time!

And enjoy it, I did. After graduating high school, I took two years off, got a job, stayed with my parents, and I had fun. I bought whatever I wanted with the money I earned and partied with my friends over many sleepless nights. I had no plan whatsoever for a real adult life. It wasn’t until I fell in love with the right girl that I had a wake-up call about life in general. As cliché as it sounds, she made me want to be a better person.

At the age of 20, I registered as an LMC student and we went to school together, taking many of the same classes. She was my motivation and gave me the will to get through college.

I never really knew what my major was going to be, but I once had a dream of being a writer so I went ahead and declared journalism as my major during enrollment, although I hadn’t really considered it yet.
I focused my initial effort on general education courses, hoping that I would one day figure out what I actually wanted to be when “I grow up.” That was seven years ago. So, why am I still here?

The reasons are mainly financial, but it was poor management of my priorities as well. I felt the need to work full-time, because I couldn’t afford college and I didn’t want to take out any loans and have to owe money later. I did receive financial aid, which is very helpful, but it doesn’t take care of you. Going to college is tough when you’re working full-time to be able to pay rent, make car and insurance payments, as well as any other bills that need to be paid. I wanted to be an adult, but I wasn’t prepared for the responsibility that comes along with it.

Luckily, I would later realize that journalism was what I wanted to do and I had previously lacked the confidence in myself to embrace it. And yet here I am today, doing exactly what I love: writing.

My story isn’t unique. There is bound to be someone in your classes who has been a student here for just as long, if not longer.

I love being an LMC student, but I never planned or wanted to be here for as many years as I have. That’s the biggest problem with community colleges. When you go to a four-year college, you’re expected to complete it in, wait for it… four years.

Community college students can come and go as they please. Unfortunately, many students enrolled in community colleges tend to let life get in the way and never finish school. The term “2-year college” doesn’t exactly fit for many students who just can’t attend school full-time, like me.

I moved away from my parents at age 19 and I sometimes wish I had stayed with them for a little more financial security. I have no regrets about where life has brought me. Life is a learning experience. I learned, and now I am sharing my experience with you so that you might be able to make better decisions with your life.

The important thing that really matters is that you are already here. You’ve made the right choice in going to college, but it’s not going to be easy. I’m here to tell you that no matter what happens, no matter what kind of crap comes your way, endure it and never give up on school.