I was never proud of where I came from. Was. Today and forever, I am proud to say that I transferred from a community college. Two community colleges actually and they both had their own greatnesses, thus why I am writing this post. See, I don’t think people get it. Many people have a negative perception of community college and you know what? I’ve been there, but I also think maybe people haven’t fully understood how fun it really is. I miss community college, and it’s not just because of the many ‘Bonus’ and extra credit opportunities I came across. Sidebar: I come across more extra credit opportunities at UT than I was led to believe.
To be completely cliche, it’s really how you make it. My very first experience at a community college was great because I got through it with my friend and it was during the summer. I Skyped in the hallway, and I got credit just by being there. My official experience at a community college kind of brought the “ashamed feelings” though. Despite being in an amazing city, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to be happy, I don’t have to make it fun, this is just a stepping stone to university-life.”
When I didn’t get into UT for what felt like the 30th time, I wanted to cry. It was supposed to be easy, it was supposed to be just 1 year here at this community college (thought in a tone of frustration)…and so I had to move home. Yep, not a lot of people know this, so there that is in the open. I moved home to go to our local community college, somewhere I thought I was doomed. Many of y’all have heard of it, LONESTAR? (Go Ducks.)
But I honestly don’t know what happened, I started to love it. I started to make the situation better because no one else was going to…or something. In my first year, I was disillusioned by the impossibility that my experience was going like NBC’s show, Community, until I realized that it totally was…in it’s special way. We had carnivals, I had a Spanish class that I loved (kind of like Community), and speech class was always a show…I loved going to the library and messing around with people, reading the books (because people still do that), and sleeping on benches like it was my job. Our Spanish class even had an end-of-the-semester party at our classmate’s house and it was legit, ask Caroline. There was a gazebo.
I’m not saying my time at ACC was completely awful. It kind of was, but it kind of wasn’t. I went to ACC and I was taught by some amazing professors that made me realize that we are all meant to do great things. One prof even wrote me a letter of rec and I know he meant every word. I went to ACC and I realized that I hate o-chem and that the biology/pre-med life is not for me. Who knows what would have happened if I had gone straight to a university and just stuck through my classes? I don’t know and I don’t really care to know, I think this was the way it was meant to be. (Go Riverbats.)
I also made friends with a lot of older people. Some people were in their late 50’s…and they were amazing. Y’all know I love older folk. They still have sass and they are all class. (I just wanted to rhyme, sue me.) They showed me how to appreciate the opportunity I get a.k.a. getting a degree at this young age. I wasn’t bombarded by job loss or worries about their kids, but they were and it put things into perspective. My problems seemed microscopic in comparison to theirs.
There are some people who go through an incredibly straight path throughout their college career. They go from high school -> university in 4 years (internship or 2 in between) -> full-time job. What I discovered is that this is a huge misconception.
My friend recently got a tattoo that says, “Treasure the journey.” I get it…in this context anyway. If you are thinking about community college, really consider it, it’s really what you make of it, and I really did love my time at community college. If community college is your only option for the first year, congrats, I’m jealous, “treasure the journey.” If you’re in community college, really “milk the cow”. I made up that analogy, but really enjoy it, find those goofy festivals, the weirdo, but incredibly awesome professors that actually care about their students, and the older folk who are probably in your class. I miss them, they totally have stories. And if you’re like me, someone who transferred from a comm college into a university, wear your riverbat/duck/whatever-the-goofy-comm-college mascot is proud.