Community College: Hit Or Miss?

Michelle Behr, Contributing Writer 

When we look back at our senior year of high school, many of us tend to remember all the great memories, friends, and teachers we associated ourselves with. Thinking back to my time in high school I become very nostalgic, as I assume most people do. What we tend not to remember is the constant stress we had as seniors in high school. Trying to pick and get admitted to the right college was constantly hanging over everyone’s head.

Unlike the majority of my senior class in high school, I was not running around like a chicken with its head cut off. In the beginning of my senior year, my parents sat me down and explained that unless I got a full-ride or had an epiphany of exactly what I wanted to do, they highly recommended I go to community college for my first year of school. At first, I was extremely upset about what they said. I wanted to go away like all of my friends. I did not want to be stuck at home for another year.

After contemplating the idea and watching all my friends constantly freak out about applying for colleges when half of them did not even know what they wanted to major in, I realized that what my parents suggested made a lot of sense. I would be saving a massive amount of money by living at home and I would still be taking the same core classes as every other freshman at a four year SUNY institution.

At my parent’s recommendation, I went to community college for my freshman year.  I had very low expectations going into it, because I was constantly being told by my high school peers that it was just “13th grade.” I realize now that I was childish and stubborn for feeding into their immature remarks.

My community college experience far exceeded my expectations. Even though the community college I went to was small (only four buildings), it was well kept and a really excellent learning environment. My professors were just as good as the professors I have had at SUNY Oneonta thus far. The vast majority of them were very knowledgeable in their field and really enjoyed what they were teaching.

I do not regret going to community college. I felt that it did an excellent job of preparing me for SUNY Oneonta. It gave me the opportunity to dabble in classes that interested me and granted me time to figure out what I wanted to major in. Also, being at home helped me save up some extra money because I did not have to leave my part time job.

Going to community college before coming to SUNY Oneonta has definitely made me more mature. If I started at SUNY Oneonta my freshman year I would have had a completely different mindset. I think of community college as dipping your toe into the college experience while going away your first year is like jumping in headfirst. Of course community college is not for everyone, but I feel that it is a decision you should consider if you are unsure of what to major in and/or you want to save money while getting the SUNY core classes checked off.


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