Community vs University: What You Need To Succeed

Many graduating high school students look to the future and wonder what the next step is. Parents, teachers and family members alike encourage these blooming adults to pursue further education. College, as obvious as it may seem, is expensive. Thoughts of crippling debt rests on the shoulders of barely eighteen-year-olds before they pick a college to attend. Thanks to the fantasy of drowning in debt, it is not uncommon for students to begin this new adventure at a community college.

“It is for that exact reason that I didn’t go to Eastern because they had the same classes at WCC for a much lower price,” Troy Payne said, a student of Washtenaw Community College.

Going to a community college is also a good first step for students fresh out of high school that do not want to dive head first into lecture halls. Community colleges like WCC have smaller classrooms. There are food options on campus and often in the nearby area. The social life is quaint but welcoming. Housing is not provided which can be both financially beneficial or hindering.

While all these things about community college are great it may not fully equip a young adult for university life. As a student time management will become an essential tool. Each person is now in charge of their classes, food, exercise, social life and housing.

Four year universities can seem intimidating when transferring from a community college. Luckily, the academics are fairly universal. Completed prerequisites are the same. The introduction classes to most major are also essentially the same.

“They don’t differ too much except the major classes start expanding… once you’re a junior you’re taking more advanced classes,” Megan Dennis said, a representative from Oakland University.

Many colleges have food plans to ensure students are truly eating enough. Although, many university students will spill their horror stories of living off nothing but hot pockets and caffeine. Being at a four year college means managing a relatively regular and healthy diet while balancing all other aspects of university. It is nearly impossible to be successful without taking care of the physical aspect of being human. To nourish the brain is to also nourish body.

If living at home was interesting, it is time to prepare to enter the new dimension of living on campus. Many four year colleges require freshmen to live in the dorms which means having a roommate. For many students a roommate becomes a new friend.

“Living on campus is being apart of a community that is close knit and taking classes similar to yours. It’s a family outside of your family,” Dennis said.

Social life is tied up in a nice bow made of dorms, classes and friends from before this point in life. There is always someone around so it’s difficult to not make friends.

“It’s been pretty social, I just recently just met my girlfriend and I’m making friends. I DJ for one of the frats. I have pretty good relationships with my professors… There’s not really a dull day,” Erik Jimerson said, a student at Alma University.

What’s the best way to battle the differences of being at a four year college? Time management.

“My best tips are to know how much time each activity actually is, so that there is better spacing between activities… One more tip I have is to put each activity in a calendar and try to know what you have to do for the week,” Teresa Cardenas said, a student at Eastern Michigan University.

Everyone succeeds at different rates and in different ways. From calendars, sticky notes notifications on a phone, planners, and more the tools to manage time are nearly endless. With so many things to do these tools are here to make life as a college student simpler and more enjoyable.

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