Shifting perspectives of community college

Most young people do not know who they are when they begin college and there can be a lot of pressure to figure it out as soon as possible.

Many wonder if they should attend a four-year university or begin their journey at a two-year community college.

There are many known pros to attending community college — it’s cheaper, credits transfer, and flexible scheduling allows for freedom and the potential to gain independence.

These benefits sound even more appealing now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Many students have opted out of taking any classes for the time being, and that is completely understandable.

Perhaps COVID-19 is shedding light on how going to community college does not put you behind in any way, especially now.

Those attending community college are in the exact same boat as those attending four-year universities, with the new reality of remote learning and online classes.

It should be noted that sticking around to go to community college allows teenagers to find themselves, discover their interests, and decide on a major before further pursuing their education. Community college also allows them to get involved without the weight of already knowing what they want to do on their shoulders.

According to College Savings 101, students can save up to $30,000 by attending a community college their first two years versus going straight to a four-year university.

The quality of classes does not change with a lower price point. The professors at JJC are highly qualified to teach. Students fear that they miss out on a more grand experience at community college, both in and out of the classroom.

Some people feel that they miss out on the “college experience” (rooming with others, attending social events, etc.) when they attend a community college, but everybody is missing out on those things right now, and it is not because they are going to a community college.

Young people should know their options and break the stigma that a degree from a community college has less value than that of a four-year school.

Even at a community college, students are being exposed to new things and with the influx of new people, they meet others who may be navigating through the same struggles they are and can relate.

We are all in this together, and COVID-19 circumstances just go to show that our situations are only what we make of them. So talk to people, put yourself out there. Embrace that you get to attend an affordable school, especially during this challenging time.