The truth is, my parents and I made the decision together that I would begin my education at Diablo Valley College. I was an A student, I was involved in tons of extracurriculars, and I knew exactly what I wanted to major in, so the worry of not getting in anywhere was not the issue.
In fact, there wasn’t any issues. I chose to go to school where I did because I would be saving thousands of dollars before transferring to the college of my choice – and that’s exactly what I did.
I went to community college, and I absolutely don’t regret it. When I was in high school, I felt ashamed to tell my peers where I was headed. Being friends with a group of supersmart AP students, I was made to feel as though I was selling myself short by many classmates. It’s as if people believe that starting your education at a junior college is giving up.
What I didn’t realize during my time at DVC is that I would reap many more benefits than simply saving money. Community college is a wise choice for all kinds of reasons.
Here’s what I took away from starting off where I did:
- I didn’t go into debt. While going to community college I lived at home, worked 30 hours a week, and paid small class fees. I was also able to save up thousands of dollars to use as spending money once I transferred to another school. My family and I were very comfortable financially by the time it was time to transfer.
- I experienced a high college acceptance rate. After my two years at community college, I was accepted to all four schools I applied to. It’s a known fact that colleges tend to accept a higher percentage of transfer students than they do freshman students. Therefore, you have more of a chance of going to the college you’re dreaming of.
- I was forced to stay focused. You cannot transfer to another college without all of your basic education completed. That means the tough math class I wanted to avoid or the boring science class I wasn’t thrilled to take had to be passed or it would have been impossible to move up. At a four-year school, people often fall behind on finishing those classes because they don’t have a two-year deadline. Having that time limit helped me to get a bachelor’s degree in four years.
- I grew up really fast. I didn’t get to roll out of my dorm room bed in the morning and walk to class. I had to drive 10 miles to my classes every day. I also learned a lot about money management since I didn’t use financial aid in junior college (It’s so affordable I didn’t need to). I was striving towards transferring, so prioritizing my responsibilities and finances was something I started thinking about when I was 18 years old. There was no room to be lazy.
I know that many people will argue that I didn’t get to have the ultimate college experience, and that’s true. I don’t know what dorm life is like, and I never went to big fraternity parties. Sometimes I wish I had those memories, but that path wasn’t right for me. The reality is that my bachelor’s degree is from San Francisco State University, it says nothing about the community college I went to. And as we speak I’m sitting here as a writer for one of the biggest independent publishers of lifestyle content for women. So I think I turned out alright.
My point is, if you went to community college or plan on going, it’s not something to be ashamed of; it’s something to be proud of. No one should make you feel bad about it. What it all comes down to is that you’re furthering your education and that’s something anyone can feel confident about.
Did you go to community college? Tell us about your higher education in the comments below.