College Is Not a Competition; Stop Treating It As One

 There are several reasons why students prefer community colleges over universities that not everyone chooses to take into account before judging someone based on the school they attend.

There are several reasons why students prefer community colleges over universities that not everyone chooses to take into account before judging someone based on the school they attend.

Katelyn Ruggles, Editor

College is an admirable goal to accomplish. Many students strive throughout their high school career to set themselves up to go to their dream college. For some, that may be a considerably difficult college to get into. However, for others, this is not the case. 

Every college is different and every person thrives in different environments, and sometimes, this environment is a smaller school or junior college. Though it is impressive to get into a highly competitive university, it does not mean that people going to a lesser known school should be frowned upon. 

It is very common for people to judge others based on their achievements, most notably what college someone is going to or went to. Kealia Amorin (11) comments

As an AP student myself, I’ve recognized the stigma and validation that comes from going to a competitive school. It’s a constant conversation topic among classmates and a person saying they want to go to a community college is often frowned upon and judged.

— Kealia Amorin (11)

However, each person is unique with personal reasons for choosing the colleges they attend. 

A big factor that plays into someone’s college decisions is financial purposes. Although it is unfortunate, college is extremely expensive in the U.S. and does not always succeed in providing students with beneficial financial aid. A common reason why most considerably smart students do not attend colleges they can most likely get accepted into is because they can not afford it. For some, going to a community college for two years then transferring to a different school is the most cost effective option for them. Not to mention, money also plays a role in things like tutoring and SAT practice which helps wealthier kids get into more prestigious schools, but that is a conversation for another time. 

For many, a competitive school is not an environment where success can be found. High school was stressful enough. College is supposed to be a place where people find themselves and what they want to pursue for the rest of their lives. It is a time to solely focus on yourself and your own growth, not to continue comparing yourself to others in your class to try and be smarter and more respectable. A calm, stress free environment rid of any competition is sometimes what a person needs to be their best self, and this is more often found at smaller colleges or community colleges rather than a prestigious university. Community colleges can help students ease into the real world and adapt to the new lifestyle of higher education. 

Many people assume that the school you get into determines your success in life. Kealia Amorin (11) puts it best, saying that “many high school students expect automatic success by attending college.” Going to a widely known and highly recognized college might be a plus on your resume when applying for a job, but that is not to deter people who chose to go on a different path after high school. Hard work is another admirable trait that people can gain from many different experiences and situations in life that can lead to a successful career. 

This is not to bash on students who do choose to put extra effort into school to work towards their goals of going to a highly ranked college. However, others have different goals fit for their life and the future they want to achieve, and that is not something that should be looked down upon.