Kristen is majoring in Neurobiology - Physiology and Behavior and minoring in Global Disease Biology at the University of California, Davis.
Dublin High School | Las Positas College
The reason I chose to attend community college instead of going to a 4 year university straight out of high school was solely for the purpose of saving money. I have two younger brothers who are expected to attend college. My parents realized how much money was going to have to go into sending us to college, but we did not have college savings accounts so this was the best option for all of us.
Through this pathway I have found that I was able to have more intimate classroom settings, get to know my professors, work and go to school all at the same time.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of friends I made at community college. Since I was taking harder classes like calculus and organic chemistry, it was pertinent that I had solid study groups. These study groups helped my friendships blossom and I am currently at the University of California, Davis rooming with five of my friends that I made at my community college.
WHY I AM SHARING
There is a stigma that community college is only for people who barely graduated high school or aren't smart enough to attend a four year university right away. This idea that community college is only made up of these individuals is tragically wrong. And even if individuals didn't do well during their high school years community college allows them a second chance if a four year education is something they want to pursue.
Right now, I want to help get rid of the community college stigma and help encourage others to attend a community college before attending a four year university, especially if they are unsure of what major to pursue.
If you don’t know what major to pursue, I would highly recommend starting at a community college. At a community college you can take a variety of classes and find your interest at a dramatically lower price.
On the other hand, if you know exactly what major you want to pursue, I would still recommend starting off at a community college, as you will be taking the prerequisites to your upper division course work. This will allow you to make meaningful relationships with your professors, which is next to impossible to do at a four year university due to the enormous class sizes.
SOMETHING I WISH I KNEW
I wish I understood all the benefits to community college and that it is OKAY to go to community college and not go to a 4 year university right away.
It’s also so hard to get into colleges right after high school now because everything is so competitive. As a transfer student, it’s easier to get accepted to the Universities you want to go to.
Now I’m not saying to take the “easy” route and be a transfer student because it’s “easier”. It's just as much work as a normal university but it has the perk of being in a you-controlled environment. I’m saying that sometimes the system sucks and you gotta do what you need to do to give yourself the best opportunities in the long run.
I felt that my parents didn’t give me much motivation to try to pursue attending a 4 year right away. I just accepted and understood that I would be starting at community college to save money.
Through my first 2 years at my community college, I would be frustrated and feel bad about myself because I wish I went to a four year and wasn’t “stuck” in limbo between high school and college, which is what community college felt like to me because of the stigma which faced me from high school.
However, in my third and final year at community college, I realized the friendships I made throughout the years and how much I accomplished (being in 3 honor society clubs, working part time, volunteering at Kaiser) and how much I matured. Looking back, I wouldn’t dare change a thing.