As I woke up for my first college course two years ago, I rolled out of bed at eight, opened the full fridge in my home, grabbed some breakfast and drove 30 minutes to my new school.
I didn’t have a roommate and there wasn’t a major adjustment that needed to be made like other students who moved on to a new college or university, on campus.
Honestly, going to Luzerne County Community College was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I saved a ton of money prior to achieving my Associates Degree in general sciences in only two years.
I tried out Culinary, Art, Sociology and Pastry Arts as majors and even made some new friends along the way.
I could still enjoy some of the college experience while living at home.
Although I was aware that some of my friends from high school were moving away, I was lucky enough to have friends who lived on campus at some colleges and universities nearby.
Carolyn Greenleaf, a junior psychology major who recently transferred from Montgomery County Community College, could relate.
Greenleaf said, “Commuting and being close to home, especially right after high school was a plus. Saving money instead of paying room and board but also saving money in general for classes is a huge bonus.”
Abby Knight, a junior education major who recently transferred from Northern Virginia Community College, agrees. She was glad to stay close to home until she was ready to go away for college.
Another positive aspect of community college is having more time to figure out what to pursue as a career path. Many are not set on a career path right out of high school.
Greenleaf said, “Getting to also play around with different classes and given the opportunity to get your general education classes done while choosing electives that you are interested in for a possible major is a plus too.”
She started Montco wanting to do social work but changed to psychology so she didn’t waste any money by paying full tuition at a college for one major and then wasting it and changing her mind, as many students do.
Jesse Fitzpatrick, a communication major who transferred from Delaware County this year, said “I went to save money and to decide on a major.”
One negative, as Greenleaf said, was “Not having the full social aspect because you’re commuting. There also aren’t as many chances to get involved with clubs and meet new people in general.”
Knight, too, agreed that there were some downsides to community college. “You do not get to make as many friends. I only had one friend on campus after my best friend transferred to Hollins University.”
Phil Dorman, an education major who also transferred this year from a community college, agrees that “You save a lot of money going to a community college first but you also give up a lot on the social experience and all that.”
All in all, saving money is the greatest attribute to attending a community college prior to another college or university. One out of six individuals interviewed who recently transferred to the college recommend attending a community college before transferring over to another college or university. The one individual who did not recommend it was solely for the reason of negativity on missing the social aspect of college life.