J.P. is majoring in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
San Francisco, CA | City College of San Francisco
I chose to go to community college because I needed to figure out what I wanted in my own college experience. I had previously attended UC Santa Barbara, and the lifestyle and atmosphere wasn't something I identified with. So, community college provided that fresh start to try to get my foundation built.
I figured out what kind of class sizes I liked, the type of city I wanted to be in, the people I wanted to surround myself with, as well as the curriculum that I wanted for my education.
I took astronomy for the first time in the fall of 2017, and I fell in love with physics and mathematics (I hated math in high school). Even though I'm a political science major, I have a major soft spot for astronomy and physics. If I could (meaning if I had all the pre-requisites), I would double major in political science with astronomy or physics.
Community college introduced me to people that I never would have met otherwise, and as a result, I gained a new respect for people, and the world around me. I met veterans -- either recently honorably discharged from Afghanistan, or older vets who fought in Vietnam. I met international students from all over the world. I met people of all ages. Collectively, all of these people I met have contributed to my ideas of the world, and I am so humbled and glad to have met all of them.
WHY ARE YOU SHARING
I had a difficult time coming to terms with going to a community college because of the negative stereotypes associated with it. But I realized during, and after, that community college holds so much promise for individual growth. My hope is for students to understand and capitalize on that, but also to learn from my mistakes through my story.
Go for fit, not prestige. Fit is not something that can be overlooked. Resources don't come to you -- you have to look for them. Additionally, it is important to understand your circumstances; are you and your family financially stable enough to attend a 4-year without taking on significant debt? If not, then there's no shame in a community college.