Benefits of attending a two-year college

As the end of the school year approaches, I always take so much time to reflect. I reflect on my grades, my relationships, my academics, friends, social life, internships and academic societies. Basically, anything that made my school year mine. 

And as my graduation approaches, I can’t help but reflect on my academic career as a whole. 

It’s all so bittersweet. 

I will go into more detail in my senior farewell column to be printed in our last paper but for now, I want to talk JUCO. 

The two-year colleges most seem to turn their nose up at, including me, before I got there. 

I cannot begin to describe the countless benefits of going to a two-year college before heading off to a four-year university. Nothing I say will ever fully justify it, it was that good.

Nevertheless, I will try. And I know this seems irrelevant considering we’re already here, but hey, tell a friend or a sibling about to graduate high school. They’ll thank you for it.

First and foremost, it saves you a TON of money. There’s no doubt in my mind that almost as important as grades are people’s finances, and everyone knows college isn’t cheap. I saved thousands of dollars and tons of accumulating debt by attending and graduating from Hutchinson Community College before heading here to WSU. 

Loads of scholarships are available at 2-years and tuition, books, and housing are significantly inexpensive. This pays off in the long run tremendously. 

Secondly, you get academic flexibility. Some do not know what they want to study right off the bat, and two-year colleges offer the time to get to know more about yourself, your interests, and what you envision for your future in and outside of the classroom. It also is a great adjustment to the big-league life of a college education, contrary to what some naysayers might say; it is every bit the college experience as a four-year institution. And if one decides not to continue into a four-year, there are a plethora of opportunities for good, solid employment with just an associates degree. Obviously I champion and encourage going forward, but this is not an option for everyone.

It is also much more accessible for non-traditional students or returning adults to take online classes. Many four-years, much like WSU in fact, don’t offer a wide-array of online programs to get your degree. While they are changing that, those implementations take time. This way, you can go to school to get one degree and still work to pay your rent, which is much more feasible to do.

One of the last ways community colleges are worth attending is because of their small class sizes to ensure personalized attention. This way, a relationship can be established, and you can make life-long friends with your professors, providing yourself with great mentors along the way. Going to a community college can feel homier, so while you’re going through your growing pains, you don’t have to go it alone. Community colleges are tight-knit families, something you don’t always get at 4-years, where isolation is more common.

It was the best decision I ever made and has gotten me to where I am today.