So this week, I would like to talk about being a community college student…
I have to admit, during my senior year of high school I really thought that the only colleges that would be able to offer me the things I wanted were 4-year universities. I am aware that many individuals have this opinion. However, I am working very hard at CCBC to let others know that being a community college student is ok. In fact, it is more than ok! I get really discouraged at the fact many think community college is just for students who cannot afford to go to a 4-year OR think that it is just a place for students who don’t have the grades. In fact, a lot of community college students do not fall into either of those categories.
I want to reassure all of my fellow community college students that YOU are doing the right thing. These are the reasons why I feel that going to community college is one of the BEST decisions you will ever make.
1. It gives you extra time to get noticed and stand out: If you didn’t do too well in high school but know that you could have done better, this is your chance! CCBC extends welcome into all of their clubs and organizations, no matter what your past may hold. Once you start getting involved, take on leadership positions. These positions will help you network and build bridges. Beginning at a huge 4-year institution is hard. You become so overwhelmed with trying to find your way around campus that getting involved may seem almost impossible. Take advantage of such a close knit college!
2. The classroom settings are smaller, allowing you to network better: You you will also meet professors who genuinely care about their students success. Your professors will notice your accomplishments and become your source for recommendation letters. Some may even nominate you for awards on campus. CCBC’s small classroom settings are perfect for forming relationships with staff who will really get to know you! You will find that your recommendations won’t sound generic, but that they come from the heart.
3. You are saving MONEY!: If you are denied for your first choice college, my best advice is to attend community college and get your Associates degree THEN transfer. I have many friends from high school that went on to big universities that weren’t at the top of their list. The interesting fact was that they all came home or transferred to another college. Many of them having to retake classes or take extra classes in order to stay on track. Why pay a lot of money for college that you aren’t fully interested in? It doesn’t make sense. Oh, and chances are you will also save money on gas too, since community college are in your COMMUNITY!
4. There are SO many scholarships available: At community colleges there are so many opportunities to apply for scholarships. Community colleges strive to give scholarships to as many students as possible. Unlike 4-year institutions, you do not have to have an absolutely flawless transcript and be a double major, you just have to be a normal student who has the motivation to succeed. The scholarships given from community college may seem like they are only given in small amounts. Contrary to what many believe, those couple scholarships you received will really add up since your tuition is SO much less than that of a 4-year institution. In addition, if you are in the college’s honor’s program or Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, you get GUARANTEED money to your transfer institution once you graduate. Most of the time those transfer scholarships cover a third if not half of the college’s tuition!!!
5. Advice and knowledge for your future: This is a crucial part of why community colleges are so great. The advising office is so easy to contact. You can actually physically go meet with someone. Most of the time no appointment is even necessary! I know for a fact that 4-year institutions lack in this area. Your first 2 years of college are super important and you need to know exactly what you need to do to graduate on time. You need to be able to have access to someone who has the answers to your questions right away. Well – CCBC offers that. I have found more information about transferring through my advisors and professors at CCBC than on the actual university pages themselves. Not only are the advisors great, but the administrators are really in touch with their students. If you get involved and do the right things, you will end up forming a bond with an administrator, such as one of the college deans. Our administrators are never out of reach and will always try to aid you in your endeavors. They strive to give back to students who have given so much to CCBC.
In conclusion, I just want everyone to be proud to be a CCBC or community college student. Don’t let stereotypes get you down. As long as you know that you are making the most of your experience in a way that is affordable to you, that is what truly matters