While I have discussed a little about my working life at this point in time, I have not yet mentioned anything specifically about taking night classes at the community college. When I was looking for schools to apply for back in high school, I did not give community college much of a thought. I wanted to go to a four year school and will admit I was biased against community college. I thought it was easier or somehow inferior to starting out at a four year school.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to take some classes at a community college, and my younger brother chose to go that route before transferring to a larger school. And I must say, my opinion of community college was unfounded and untrue. If you get a great scholarship to a four year school or can afford a four year school and it’s what you really want to do, go ahead. There’s no problem with taking that route. But, if you are struggling to try to find a way to afford it, or you are unsure what you want to major in or where your focus should be, you should definitely consider community college. Especially if you are worried about starting off at a big place or don’t want to make the move away from home yet (although you can dorm at community college like my brother did and still get that distance from home).
A big reason? In my experience, community college is much cheaper. You’re more likely to get a better scholarship to a community college, and the tuition and cost of classes isn’t as high. Plus, you can usually stay at home which will cut dorm and food costs. Another big reason? Books. At MGCCC, you rent books at a much cheaper cost than when you have to buy them at a college or university. Taking classes at JD was way more affordable, and my brother wound up paying far, far less than I am by going to Perk for his first two years. It would especially be great to go to community college if you are undecided about what you want to focus on in your undergraduate studies; it’s going to cost less if you keep changing majors there than if you keep tacking on years at a four year school.
Also, the quality of classes that I took at JD were pretty much the same as at a four year school. I had one awful professor, but you get those at a four year school too. The French classes I took there were excellent, and I am very glad I was able to take them with only one other class at a time. Doing so allowed me to focus more on French since learning new languages does not come as easy to me. Another great thing about the night classes I took is most my classmates were older students that were working full time while trying to get a degree. Therefore, they were serious about their education and worked harder/studied harder than some of the students closer to my age that I’ve encountered in a four year school. It was nice to be around others who were also very serious about their education.
Therefore, I overall had a positive experience taking classes at a community college, and think it is a great option for those that want to spend less money on their education. I greatly value the time I spent at Spring Hill and all that I learned while there, but honestly going to a community college or an in-state, public school would have probably been the smarter option. Even knowing that, deep down, although I am in a lot of debt from SHC and went through a lot of anxiety trying to stay there, I probably would have taken that route again if given another chance just because I loved the time I spent there so much. However, I do appreciate the time and growth I had through taking classes at JD, and am really glad I had the opportunity to then transfer to the University of South Alabama. Each step of my journey has been important to my development, and hopefully in my future posts you can see why all of my (or your) life experiences are beneficial, even if they don’t seem to be at the time.