The first semester of college is over and it feels bittersweet. I’ll be transferring to a four year college next month and it’s surprising how much I’ll miss the community college I attended. Looking back on my first day of college, when I was bitter and hated the world, I never would have thought I’d be here, at peace and thankful for attending community college.
At the beginning of the semester, when I realized I wouldn’t be able to afford the college I wanted to attend and would have to attend a community college, it felt like my world was crashing down on me. All of my plans that I had for the future diminished because of one obstacle: money. It felt so absurd and I felt like I was living a nightmare. I’d always associated community college with failures and the last resort. However, I quickly found out that I was wrong. Going to a community college may be the best thing that’s happened to me.
I’ve been at community college for just a semester and I’ve learned so much and matured as well. I learned to have more empathy and become more open minded. When I started community college, I felt like a loser. I looked at everyone around me and only saw people who I thought I was better than. I quickly found out that was not the truth. I’ve meet some of the smartest people here, people who aren’t only book smart but street smart as well. People who know how to survive and grind and make the world their own. People who chose to stay home for two years to look out for their family. People like myself.
I also discovered how to multi-task and how to be an adult even if I was still living in my grandma’s house. Going to community college was also a reality check for myself. I was so dead-set on attending a private college that I could not afford, where the tuition was $50,000, whereas my family survives on government assistance. Who was I kidding? I saved myself from being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
I learned that what I thought I wanted to go to college for maybe wouldn’t make me happy in the long run. When I was set on the original college I was supposed to go to, I found myself picking a major that I thought I should major in, a major that everyone else wanted me to do. I did what I thought would impress others instead of thinking of what would be best for me. I was able to rediscover something that made me happier and something I could actually picture myself doing.
In just a semester, community college has taught me so much, maturing me along the way. I used to hate myself and feel like a failure. I used to be the girl who couldn’t go on social media without feeling an ache in my chest because I was jealous of seeing all my friends and peers enjoying school at the college that they wanted to attend. Flash forward to now, where I can truly say I’m grateful. I’ve learned many things about myself and how to grow up. I’ve learned the greatest lesson of all: life won’t always be what you imagined and mistakes will always lead you to something better. I’m grateful I ended up at a community college my first semester.
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