Around this time of year when people are beginning to receive college acceptance or rejection letters and decide where they are going to spend the next four years of their life one particular question crosses everyone’s mind: Should I go to Community College?
Community College or Bust
For some people the alternative option besides community college would be no college at all. This could be the case if you had originally planned on ending your education after high school or if you didn’t get accepted to a four-year university right off the bat.
Whatever the circumstances I would suggest getting a college degree any way you can. Many people think that without the college experience they might as well just start working and skip the education. Ever since unemployment rates skyrocketed, getting a job has become increasingly more difficult.
Enough people have a high school diploma that the value of it has decreased and it simply does not make you stand out. Even if you can get a job with just a high school education it won’t be one that pays a significant amount. At some jobs your salary will be higher if you have a college degree because you are more qualified.
If you think you have your future set without a college education, one could still be worth your while. Getting an education isn’t solely to help you succeed in the future but to enhance your knowledge base and make you more worldly and informed. Being well educated is a privilege and if you have the opportunity to be, take it.
In the words of writer Oscar Wilde, “You can never be overdressed or over educated.”
Community College Transition
For many people, even if it isn’t their only option, it is wisest to go to community college out of high school and transfer to a four-year university later.
Sometimes this is best choice because community college is cheaper so you can save your money on tuition and rent if you continue living at home while attending. Although you may feel like you’re missing out on the first couple years of the college experience it will be worth it later when you get the same degree and have a lot of money saved up.
Another reason it might be best to go to community college first is so that you can go to the right school. If you didn’t get accepted into your dream school right away there is nothing wrong with going to community college first and reapplying in a year or two. Even if you have some four-year options, if you know you won’t be happy at those places don’t go because you think you should.
Weigh all of your options but it would be better to transition through community college than be unhappy somewhere. Also application competition is less intense as a transfer student so you have a better chance of getting accepted the second time around.
Also, if you go to community college for the first two years you can get all of your general education classes out of the way while you’re there. Once you transfer to a four-year university you will have the opportunity to focus solely on your field of interest.
Going to community college is definitely a smart decision regardless of the other choice. Just make sure you stay focused and motivated—take your classes seriously and have a goal in mind. If you want to transfer eventually or graduate in four years do your best to get the classes you need and take them seriously. Go to community college if you have the chance.
Natalie Alexander is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. In her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing, exploring, swimming, laughing, shopping, napping, writing and spending time with her family and friends.