If you’re reading this, you are probably trying to decide whether or not going to community college is for you. When it came time for me to decide on what I wanted to do after high school I was in the same position that you are now in. It is important to carefully think about the decisions you make, especially the decisions that can affect your life for years after. Below I list 7 reasons that demonstrate why community college might be the right place for you. After reading through them you will have a better idea whether you want to take this path or another.
1. Save Money - Whether you come from a wealthy background or not I’m sure we can all agree that the cost of tuition can be on the pricey, not to mention the additional expenses like room and board if you decide to reside on campus. From my experience when I attended Rockland Community College, I actually did not have to come out of pocket at all and did not have to take out any loans for the 2 years that I was there. When I transferred to Georgetown University even after receiving a pretty large scholarship, I still had to take out loans.
2. More Time to decide a career - When you go to college you are expected to know what you want to do career wise, and I don’t believe that it’s easy to know what you want to do for a career when you are only 18 years old. When you start at community college it gives you more time to decide what you want to do for a career. From my personal experience when I entered community college, I wanted to be an engineer but by my second year I had changed my mind and was more interested in doing something in business, so I when it was time to transfer, I was able to pick a good business school.
3. Better School - Let’s say that you didn’t take school as seriously as you should’ve when you were in high school, or you did but maybe struggled, or just had a lot going on and couldn’t perform the way that you would need to perform in order to get into a top school. Community college gives you a second chance to do so. Again, taking it back to my personal experience, when I was in high school, I didn’t work as hard as I should’ve at school and because of it I didn’t have the grades to get me into a top school. After I went to community college and my mind changed on certain things, I did have better grades and even managed to get into Georgetown University.
4. Test Run - Community college also gives you the opportunity to take a test drive on the college life. I know college could sometimes be a wakeup call for a lot of people. College is a new type of life, and it requires some getting used to. There is a level of growing up that has to happen, you are now in school as an adult, teachers are no longer going to be calling your parents, showing up to class is now your responsibility. For some people, this adjustment may take longer than for some other people, community college is a great place to start if you might need more time with this adjustment.
5. Athletic Career - If you were an athlete in high school and want to continue your athletic career community college is a viable option. For some people there are many different reasons why they may not be able to continue their athletic career at a 4 your institution right away, it could be not having good enough grades, not having high enough test score, not getting highly recruited, or an array of other things, but community college is the solution for that. You can go and play at the community college level, and then seek to be recruited to play at a 4-year institution after. For my personal experience continuing my athletic career was the reason I decided to attend community college, I didn’t have bad grades but I also wasn’t recruited as highly as I wanted to be.
6. Try Extracurriculars - Depending on what community college you go to you could potentially have a lot to choose from in terms of extracurricular activities. It will be a great place to tryout these different activities while you have the time to do it. When you get to the 4-year institution some clubs or organizations may require more time and commitment. Figuring out what you might want to put your time into beforehand will be very beneficial. I joined so many clubs and organizations in community college but when I got to my 4-year institution I took on only a few clubs and organizations but they were the ones that I was passionate about, so it made for a great experience.
7. Find your balance - So this last reason I believe is the most important one. When I was at community college after a certain point, I knew I wanted to graduate and transfer to a really good 4-year school. When I realized that was my goal, I then started going so hard trying to do everything that I could to make myself a great transfer candidate for school. I started taking multiple leadership positions, taking difficult classes, and doing anything else that I thought would look good. After a while I started to feel burnt out and learned that it was not a sustainable way of life. The experience did teach me a lot though, I was able to learn what my balance was, what mix of difficult classes and extracurriculars I could manage together comfortably, something I was glad to figure out before getting to my 4-year institution.
Hopefully after going through these 7 reasons to choose community college, it helped you get a better idea of what is best for you.
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Derron was born in Brooklyn, NY, and lived there for most of his life before going to school in Washington, DC. A huge fan of basketball and traveling, he also has a passion for entrepreneurship and mentorship. He is currently working on a new book currently set to be released at the end of the year, The Unorthodox Creator