Junior college is the way to go

Junior college is the way to go

“Are you going to LMC because you couldn’t get into any ‘real’ colleges? Did you go to a junior college because you’re not smart enough for a four year college?”

I hear these types of offensive questions all the time. I understand that going straight to a four year college might be a little more fun than going to your local community college, however when preparing for your future I believe that transferring after two years is the smarter option.

The obvious advantage to starting out at a community college is how much money you will save. Tuition for state schools starts at about $22,000 while LMC is only $46 a unit meaning full-time students would be paying about $1,000 a year. So in two years you spend around $2,000 on tuition while people at state colleges are spending about $40,000. That’s a huge difference. Who doesn’t want to save money?

Tuition is just the beginning: you need books, food, somewhere to live, and things to fill your place. It all adds up very quickly. Some try to say that you can’t put a price on the “experience’’ but I completely argue that. Going to college means becoming more mature and doing what will benefit you in the future, and having a lot of debt isn’t a good plan. If you can afford college or get scholarships then that’s great, but breaking your bank and living in debt for the rest of your life is not smart.

I had fairly good grades in high school and I debated on going away for school or living with my parents for a couple years. I chose LMC. I wasn’t forced to go because it was my only option.

Another good reason to start at a JC is because if you didn’t do so well in high school, it gives you another chance and a clean slate. For me, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to study. I felt rushed and pressured to make a huge decision that I didn’t feel confident in making. After only one semester at LMC, I have an idea of what I want to do and a plan to get there.

I know I can’t speak for everyone when I say that I don’t mind living at home. I’m focused on school and work and it’s paying off. I don’t have as many distractions as someone living in a dorm. I think the first year of college is very important. It kind of sets your work ethic for the rest of college.

I know community college isn’t very exciting. Everyone is just in and out, and very independent. Four-year colleges are fun. Sporting events, living on your own, going to parties, and just meeting new people. What some people don’t realize is that you will get that chance later on. You have the rest of your life for adventures and fun, and with all that money you have saved, you can go out and do fun things.

It’s very easy to get stuck in being disappointed that you’re not “there,” and your friends are off in college having so much fun. The option of being able to go somewhere and get the same education but way cheaper is a positive. It’s easy to complain and maybe fall into bad habits because you’re unhappy where you are, but life is all about steps and this is just one of them.

Take charge of your education. Ever since I started going to LMC, I got motivated to do well and not limit myself to anything. Focus and do well. Not to mention, everyone here is so nice and helpful. Take advantage of the resources around you, and you will succeed. You took the smarter path so do it and do it with confidence.