14 Moments All Community College Students Have Experienced

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1. That look people give you

People love to get all high and mighty upon hearing you attend/plan to attend community college. They’ll respond with a condescending, “Ah, that’s nice…” But absolutely feel free to wipe that judgy-wudgy look off your face right after we compare our student debt, sound good?

2. The jealousy of seeing all the photos of your friends who went away

Social media was constructed to keep us all connected, but also, to maybe sometimes make us feel like shit about our own lives in comparison to those we see. It’s easy to slip into a pity party for one when you see all your best friends from high school living it up at a four year school. You often find yourself posted on the couch, just watching a live feed of people and their incredibly fun looking activities on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat.

3. Your own social life is…kind of lame

TURN DOWN FOR WHAAAAT? Living at home.

4. That one older student who thinks he/she knows everything

I applaud anyone who goes back to school or who wants to keep the learning process fresh. But when you attend a community college, you always run into that one much older student who makes you want to stab out your eardrums with your pen. Here’s a quick reminder: we’re BOTH students. You’re not actually teaching the course, so you can calm down for one hot second.

5. You have stock answers ready for interrogations

People expect you to have much more of a plan than students at four year schools. There’s an idea that if you attend a CC, you’re going to get stuck and just float indefinitely, aimless. First off, don’t make the assumption that everyone has the same goals for education and/or even have the resources to make those goals a reality. And secondly, have you talked to your average 18-20 something? We’re ALL kind of lost, to be honest.

6. You have to commute

No dorms means you can’t just swing out of bed and walk your still half-asleep body to class. You have to actually get into a car/bike/public transportation and this requires more planning.

7. The parking lot is your worst nightmare

Not only do you have to include the time your actual commute takes to get to class on time, but make sure you’re factoring in the god damn parking lot. You get to play that kind of creepy “I’m going to lurk in my car and slowly drive behind this guy walking and hope he’s leaving and I can snag his spot” game. Ready, set, go.

8. You didn’t even know you had a football team

You honestly didn’t even know your school had a mascot. You kind of still don’t believe there are actually any sports teams. I mean, you’ve never seen them…

9. You took classes ACTUALLY taught by the professor

This is one of the awesome things about attending a community college: classes aren’t taught by the TA. It’s usually much easier to attend office hours and get hands on help from professors. My father taught at a community college for 30+ years, and he genuinely cared so much for his students and putting aside individual time for them. This is a definite perk, and something that gets overlooked often.

10. Someone always smells like weed

I’m not saying there’s a correlation between community college and smoking weed (because, uh, go to any college campus), but for some reason the classrooms just tend to…smell more. There’s more of a DGAF attitude, and there’s that one dude who will spark up right outside after class.

11. You hate the term “junior college”

Once, I compared my syllabus for a class with a friend who was attending a four year university. This might be earth-shattering, but they were strikingly similar. Throwing the term junior in downplays the whole institution and it’s kind of a shitty thing to say to someone. It’s community college, ya ignorant fucks.

12. You have to deal with people thinking their school makes them better than you

True story, I had a friend mention her (now ex) boyfriend said she shouldn’t be friends with me because, get this, she should have higher caliber friends. This was solely because I went to community college instead of applying to universities when I was in high school. Not that this douche-nozzle even deserved a response, but I stayed home to take care of my mom/save money when my dad passed away. But sure, let’s place judgement. I had a better GPA than he did, regardless of where we were attending school.

13. If you transfer, you feel like a freshman all over

I ended up transferring to UCLA, and even though I was already 20 and had been used to the whole college classes thing, I felt like a bright-eyed freshman all over again. You don’t know where anything is! The dining hall experience is EXCITING AND NEW! You get to redo that exciting, confusing time of being a newbie all over again.

14. You grow up a little faster

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. I think that when you attend community college (especially if you later transfer elsewhere), you actually have to mature at a quicker rate. It’s usually not party central, and you learn to balance classes, work life, family, etc. It’s not the same kind of bubble experience of going away and living in dorms. It falls more in line with how the real world functions, and prepares you just as well. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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