The Community College Conversation

When I was about to start community college approximately a year ago, I felt rather apprehensive about my upcoming journey. As my former classmates were proudly headed to their respective four-year institutions, I sat at home, where I would be staying for the foreseeable future, with a bit of excitement, accompanied by a somewhat diminishing sense of ambition.

Browsing through a multitude of videos and articles claiming to offer advice and tips for all incoming college freshmen did not help me lessen my guilt. Although I was able to find some proclamations in regards to community college specifically, most of the ones I uncovered were tinged with the same kind of implicit solicitude and pseudo-reassurances that had already started to exacerbate me in different contexts.

Now that I have completed two semesters of community college, I can say that it truly has been a valuable experience for me, as I have not only expanded my knowledge, but have also met many caring, determined, and intelligent faculty members and students. Nevertheless, I must admit that I have not been utilizing my local institution to its fullest potential; appointments with advisors about selecting classes should have been made more often, clubs should have been joined, and valuable friendships should have been developed to a greater extent.

With these regrets in tow as I begin my second year of community college, I want to take action. However, even with my hindsight and intention to make up for my mistakes, my feelings of concern and uncomfortableness still remain. Whether these faults are exclusive to me or not, I feel compelled to do something about them.

Through starting an honest, comprehensive, and continuous conversation about community college, I think that I can properly do so.

Whether it is through a podcast and/or a website, and regardless of the immediate levels of participation and positivity associated with my plans, I strongly believe in what I can accomplish with the help of others, even once I personally move on from community college. Quite frankly, I predict that encouraging current and former students, professors, and even those just with preconceived beliefs to talk about community college will only beget positive effects on these institutions. As I mentioned before, I am a student, and with my knowledge of my classmates, I am willing to make my propositions have a focus outside of the classroom and campus settings, as different locations are often their priorities. By encouraging such a discussion in a comfortable situation and on a larger level that can connect people of varying statuses from communities across the country, I believe that community college can become better understood and utilized. Consequently, these institutions can become more effective in their goal of educating the public and preparing each individual for a successful future in their endeavors and societal contributions.

If you are interested in my proposal, please contact me with any ideas, advice, questions, and/or help you can offer.

-Stephanie

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