General Question

amazingme's avatar

Is this a good choice for my college path?

Asked by amazingme (1850points) October 12th, 2010

I really have no idea what I want to study. So I was thinking instead of going to a college where I’d have to pay tuition, room and board, books and who knows what else, I was thinking of just going to my community college. My community college is (obviously) cheaper and local. So therefore I wouldn’t spend tons of money on a major I’m unsure about.

Is this a good path to choose?
My only problem is that I don’t want to miss out on any real college experiences.

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14 Answers

Aqua's avatar

Yeah, it’s a great way to save money and work on your GE requirements while you figure things out. You can transfer to a university any time once you figure out what you want to do. Go for it.

talljasperman's avatar

neither… If your not sure what to take… its good to take a year off school and do readings on different subjects for free from the library or internet…. so you can miss out on the BAD college experiences (like changing you major 17 times and failing out of university… and living like a morloc for the rest of your life) also… or if you go you can take general studies or liberal arts and blow a year’s worth of tuition in school finding yourself.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Getting your core requirements out of the way at a community college is a great idea. The only minor problem is that most of those core requirements will not give you an idea of what it is that you want to do.

Have you ever taken an aptitude test? You may be able to find out where to take one by contacting your local unemployment office. This kind of test will help uncover some of the things that you are naturally good at and will give you a lot to think about.

Do you have any interests or hobbies right now? Are you in any high school clubs? Those should also give you a good idea of where to start thinking about your future.

Go where your heart leads.

Nullo's avatar

A lot of people go to a community college for a couple years and then transfer into a four-year school. Best of both worlds!

amazingme's avatar

@hawaii_jake I am in the orchestra in my high school, but i know for a fact that I don’t want to do anything with playing music (naturally good at it, but I was forced all the time to play the cello and other instruments when I was a kid-and even now- that I hate it).

It’s strange, I do things when I no longer want to do them because I feel obligated to do so. Like with my job. I teach little kids dance. But I hate it. It’s on the most inconvenient days and teaching little kids dance for 5 hours straight is not a walk in the park.

My heart tells me to leave where I am at currently. Where to? I have no clue. But my head keeps on telling me I don’t have the money.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Is there a state college in your area where you could be a commuter student? Community colleges service a diverse student population, and not all community colleges are equal, nor will you necessarily get exposure to classes that will help you choose a path, as @hawaii_jake mentioned.

My daughter is finding that the quality of instructor at community colleges is dicey. Her philosophy professor is fabulous, her math teacher very strong and demanding, her English teacher cancels 3 out of 4 classes at the last minute. This would not be a problem, except it’s a 7 am class.

Many colleges have good financial aid packages, and it’s possible to go to school on a cello or dance scholarship but end up not majoring in those subjects. It sounds like you have senior year burn-out, which is not uncommon. If you feel strongly that you don’t want to major in music or dance, see if you can still leverage your involvement for the past four years to fund your education.

Be aware that 85% of all college students change their major the after the first year. If you go into it unsure, don’t worry. Most of the people in your class who think they know, really don’t. They just haven’t realized it yet.

zenvelo's avatar

There is still plenty of college craziness to experience if you transfer after two years at a community college. I think you have a pretty mature attitude to even raise this question and think about the choices; much more mature than I was as a senior in high school.

I think your idea is great, and as others have said, I encourage you to explore as many things as you can over the next couple years.

amazingme's avatar

@BarnacleBill Yes, actually. My community college has a deal with majority of the in state colleges, (UVA, VTech, GMU, JMU, CNU, ect..) that if you reach the required gpa with the 2 years, they have to accept you.

My only problem is that I want to get the hell out of Virginia. Especially the part where I am at.
Plus, I hate making mistakes. I feel like going somewhere and not being happy would be a huge mistake. It also doesn’t help that our of five kids( I’m the last) I might only be the 2nd one to graduate from college. I feel like I have to live up to my older brother’s success. But he basically drove my parents (and of course himself-badly) into debt with the college he chose.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

It’s a great idea. I’m doing my first year at a cheaper state college (it’s a lot like a city college, but 4 years).
The assessment tests are great in theory. However, they tend to oversimplify quite a lot. For instance, because I checked that I liked helping people, it told me I should be an EMT, police officer, or fire fighter. Unfortunately, it never asked if I had any issues with The Man, or if I would be ok working in the medical field with all it’s gory grossness. It also told me I should do all of the “5 C” careers for women (catering, cashiering, clerical, caring, cleaning) without asking things like if I would be ok standing on my feet for 8 hours (as a career for the rest of my life, not just a job for a little while). Nor did it ask how important it was that I earn x amount of money. This was the test my high school provided for free, you can get better ones for quite the fee (80–300+) but I don’t really know that they’re much better at finding a career that you would be happy with and good at.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@amazingme : This may sound crazy, but I get the idea that you’re a good communicator. There are many types of jobs that require high-level communication skills especially in the business world. Communication classes delve into a lot of theory about how group dynamics work, and those skills can be used in a multitude of ways, such as business management, law, conflict resolution management, etc. The list is endless

If you really want to get out of where you are now, then you should go. You won’t be happy at your local community college. Spend some time in the reference section of your library looking a Peterson’s Guide to Colleges. Look at the pictures. Look at the enrollment. Look at the programs the school is famous for.

Let your mind wander. Pay attention to your dreams.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Well, there are several ways to get the heck out of Dodge without actually having to get the heck out of Dodge. First of all, there’s the tuition exchange program. You pay instate tuition and can attend a participating out-of-state program for a year. Any scholarship money would apply to the program. Also, a year abroad program can be covered with separate grants and funding than regular tuition. But you won’t get those options at a community college.

You should have your ducks in a row by early December. Often, certain types of financial aid will need to be filed in January, so where ever you apply, be mindful of the dates. Also, your parents will need to do their taxes early, as the FAFSA form needs to be in as early as possible to get early money allocation and consideration for work-study.

There is nothing wrong with starting college as a liberal arts major. In fact, some schools encourage it. A good college experience is very different academically from high school.

amazingme's avatar

@BarnacleBill True. I just need to find somewhere to go! lol

I never realized how overwhelming all this is. I just hope I end up happy with whatever I choose.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It is a lot of work, and nerve-wracking.

perspicacious's avatar

Sure, do your freshman year at community college taking core subjects. But, it is time for you to make a decision about your future. Your biggest concern is missing out on the full college experience and shows some immaturity. The college experience is first and foremost an education and GPA that will keep you in the competition for a good job at graduation. Good luck to you.

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