Your Path, Your Future

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Photo by Ashlyn Bautista

Application time: Every student has their own path when it comes to college and the future. Students should apply to any school they have an interest in, and we as a society need to stop judging people based on the name of the school people attend. The only people that get to decide our success is ourselves.

As we are in the midst of college application season, students are left to decide their futures, majors and most importantly what colleges they want to attend. All these big decisions leave students feeling sometimes lost and wondering about what path is correct for them. Pressure from not only family but also from friends and society can cause a lot of stress, especially when the name of the college you attend can feel like it decides your fate. Many times there is stigma and judgement around the college you attend whether that be a 4-year, community college or vocational college, but these dangerous stereotypes, like many social media stars, should be canceled. In the end, everyone has their own journey and path they are on.

Although college may not be for everyone, those who are looking to apply should not be afraid to apply anywhere and everywhere. It can be expensive at times, but if possible students should apply to any school they have interest in going to. Many times students feel like they are not good enough for certain schools or that they are not smart enough to go to a 4-year right out of high school, but you never know the outcome. Colleges change what they look for in applicants every year, so students should never feel discouraged from applying to any school they want to attend whether that be a 4-year or community college.

A students success and “smartness” should never be associated with what school they attend after high school. Many times community college can be a smarter economical choice. Colleges ask 17 and 18 year old students to pick majors that they will be following for the next four years and beyond into their futures. This is a very scary task to ask such young people and a lot of the time students have no idea what they want to do. Community colleges provide a cheaper way to try and find your way and understand the path you want your future to take. They also provide an easier transition into the world of college from high school. Instead of being thrown into a university that can be hours away from home, students can live closer to their families and adjust to the new type of classes and work load.

Community college also acts as a great stepping stone into students’ future of schooling. Transferring into a 4-year university can be much easier coming out of a community college than it is high school. In community college you have time to learn what you want to major in and also gain more outside experience not only in your subject of interest but also in life. Getting into more prestigious schools like UCLA and USC can be easier coming out of community college and also less stressful than out of high school. Instead of stressing for four years in high school and working day and night to be intensely competitive against your peers, you can just take the time in community college to be more relaxed about finding who you are and growing a passion for what you want to do.

In the end, a degree is a degree. Whether you go to a 4 year or go to a community college first, everyone is going to end up with a degree that can be used to either continue schooling or to pursue your career. No one should ever feel pressured to follow the “normal” path of schooling since everyone is unique and has their own journey to be on. Whatever school you go to never defines your worth or who you are no matter what society has groomed us to believe. Your path and your future is just that. Yours. At the end of the day if you are happy with where you are going, with what you are doing and your future, no one can tell you you are not successful.