Destigmatize junior college

Walking onto a new campus, new faces pass, new classrooms and new experiences. When you stay at the same school it’s usually just a new classroom environment and a new teacher, but as a transfer student it’s basically a new life. Transferring from a four year university or private institution to a community college can be beneficial in several different ways other than just education-money, being close to home, trying out new interests, family situations, etc.

It’s a lovely new adventure that many young adults choose to explore. The title of community college student isn’t one that’s often worn with honor, but it should be. Be proud you’re saving money and flaunt the fact that you’re continuing your education. Some people think that community college is a last minute choice when in reality it’s not. For some, it’s the only plan to prepare for their future.

I went to an out of state private school on a scholarship. Going 2,000 miles away was my dream and I was finally living it. After my first year was over, I came home for the summer and realized how much I missed my little corn town. My dream suddenly shifted and I stayed home to attend Los Medanos. Turns out, it was a great decision because I’m able to explore other interests, have a job, and be with my family.

The stigma definitely was something I was hit with right away by my friends: “You got into a four year,” “Why are you taking steps back in life?” “How will that make it easier?” or “You’re taking the easy way out.”

Some people say that leaving a four-year is taking steps back, but if I would have stayed at a school I didn’t love I might have stayed too long and gone over the waterfall. Instead, I just changed paths. I looked to the horizon and chose a more reliable, affordable and appealing option. It’s OK to not know what you want to do and that’s why community college is an outstanding option for me, because it gives me the tools for a decent education to either continue what I started at another school or to branch off in a new direction. It also isn’t “taking the easy way out.” College is college. It’s a challenge for many no matter what, but the effort shown and the continuation of an education isn’t.

Our society greatly values education. That’s why we are encouraged to continue past a high school diploma. It is believed that to prosper and make money, an individual needs to have multiple degrees, but people with associate’s degrees can also be successful and have the opportunity to make just as much money as someone who spent thousands of dollars at a four year college. Point is, no matter what education path someone chooses in life, chances are the individual will be successful.

Community college makes all the difference for students and offers more affordable alternatives to assist the needs of the community because it’s such a diverse culture compared to the lives of four-year university students. Although community college comes with a stigma, it shouldn’t be looked over due to the notion that it isn’t looked at as highly as four-years. Community college is a good alternative for education for all who wish to make themselves a better, well-rounded individual.