We Heart It / Elite Daily
With the start of school right around the corner, some students are probably in the process of packing up their lives from home to begin their lives in dorms.
On the other hand, there are also those students who have made the decision to attend a community college. Maybe it’s only for a semester, just for your first year, or maybe you have a plan like I did and you’re going to spend your first two years at CC to obtain your associate degree.
Whatever your plan may be, community colleges offer a lot of benefits to students. There’s certainly nothing wrong with big universities; however, for those of you out there who are still struggling with the decision of leaving the nest or staying at home for a bit, consider the following:
It’s a good in-between.
Let’s face it: Sometimes we’re just not ready — whether that means ready to quit our dead-end job, or ready to end a relationship that’s going nowhere. Sometimes we might not be ready to take the next big step in our career, or take a leap of faith.
You don’t have to be ready. Just because you graduated from high school and turned 18, or because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to be ready for all of that.
It’d be better to attend a community college and flourish where you’re comfortable, rather than bomb away $16,000 worth of your first year’s classes because you weren’t ready. Community college can be that stepping stone, that in-between for high school and a big university.
It’s much less expensive.
For my first two years of college, I attended my local community college. I always took on a full load of courses, which consisted of either four or five classes.
Per year, the price of tuition was roughly $3,000. I wasn’t able to get any financial aid, and I didn’t take the time to apply for any scholarships or grants, but if I had, that amount would have been significantly lower than it already was.
For those individuals that have the responsibility of paying for college themselves or don’t want to be bogged down by student loans later in life, starting out at a community college can very well be the answer.
You don’t have to commute.
If you decide to attend a four-year university, you still have a pretty big decision to make. Are you going to live on campus and only come home every so often and for holidays, or are you going to live at home and drive back and forth to the university every time you have a class or a test?
Attending a community college takes the commute factor out of the college equation. While you do still have to drive to the campus for classes, a community college is generally in close proximity. You don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do if gas goes back up to $4.15 a gallon, and you won’t have the burden of having to make the trip back home for birthdays, holidays and maybe even weekends.
If you’re not much of a partier, it can be a good fit.
College, for some students, is that first real big breath of freedom that they get in their lives. You no longer have your parents asking where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing or when you’re going to be home.
I think it’s somewhat of a shock value to a lot of students to go from having a parent right there for everything for the last 18 years, to suddenly having this newfound sense of independence. This independence is oftentimes a straight path to the party. Why? Because your mom’s not there to tell you that you can’t.
Going into college, I knew with 100 percent confidence that I wasn’t the partying type. I’d never been to a party before; I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke and I’d never experimented with any sort of drug.
While there are others who are in this same boat, some people can’t wait to go off to a big college specifically so they can experience some of the stuff they never got to during high school. Others, however, simply don’t have any interest in this.
If you are the type that simply doesn’t have any interest in the party scene, a community college may very well be a good fit for you for your first few years.
You can keep your job.
I know a lot of people who held a steady job all throughout their high school careers, and once they decided to go off to a big four-year university, they were forced with not only having to quit, but also having to find something new that was near their new school.
Attending a community college for your first year or two can be beneficial when it comes to your current job. Additionally, if you’ve been working at that job for a while, the management will most likely be relatively flexible with scheduling around your new college classes since they already know you.
If you’ve gone away to college and you’re searching for a new job that’s closer to campus, you may have to deal with the short end of the stick when it comes to hours, shifts and even pay.
You meet locals that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
The majority of people who attend a community college are locals from that specific community. I know, I know; you’re probably thinking, “When I got out of high school, I didn’t want to go spend my college years with those same people.”
While you will most likely see a handful of your high school classmates attending community college, as well, you also have the opportunity to meet a lot of the students from other local high schools that you never had the opportunity to. What could be better than meeting people who not only are doing the same thing as you, but also live nearby!
While some students undoubtedly know what they want and what they’re ready for when it comes to their education, not everyone does. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or you graduated 30 years ago, going to college is a big achievement in life and you should look at the big picture and weigh the pros and cons before coming to any decision.
Your education is something that you’ll be able to carry with you for the rest of your life. You deserve to have the best.
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