Community College is an Opportunity Well Worth the Price of Admission

Going away to college can be a huge shock.

First, you have the feeling of insecurity from not being at home and not knowing anyone.  Then there’s the added pressure of classes, making friends, meeting professors, keeping your grades up and the huge financial burden that most college students have to carry.

Our society puts a lot of pressure on young adults to go away to college right out of high school.  At 18 years old, most people are still trying to figure out their own identity.  Who you are and what you want is going to change from when you’re 18 to when you’re 25 or 35 years old.

Tatiana Benedetti, a Psychology major in her first semester at NECC, went to MCLA for three semesters starting in the spring of 2014.  She was shocked by how unprepared she felt for college.  

“It’s really easy to fall apart at a four-year school in your first semester,” she said.  “When you’re 18, you need a support system.  You shouldn’t be focused on getting as far away from home as possible.”

The hardest part of going away to college was learning to be responsible for herself and manage her time effectively.  Reflecting on her time in high school, Benedetti said she wasn’t encouraged to prepare for college by taking a college class before attending college full time, or by going to a community college first to get a feel for what college is like.

“As somebody who sucked at college, community college was the best decision I made.  I feel a lot more put together here, and this makes me feel more prepared for a four-year school,” she said.

Sarah Stanley transferred from Gordon College in Wenham.  She is a Journalism/Communication major in her first semester at NECC.  At Gordon, she found that if she needed help, it was up to her own efforts to seek out that help.  She didn’t even realize that the college didn’t offer what she was looking for in her major until she was already enrolled.

“I’m really surprised by the support socially and academically at NECC,” she said.   The academic support offered in her first semester at community college exceeded what was offered to her at Gordon.

“Community college is worth it because of the financial burden,” she said.

Christian Doyle, a Theater major in his sophomore year at NECC, transferred to community college from Wagner College in New York.

While he was trying to meet society’s expectations to meet “the typical college timeline,” he essentially ran himself into the ground.

The stress built up until he had “what felt like an emotional breakdown,” but ended up being a spiritual awakening.

Doyle transferred to NECC to work on himself.  His goals changed from following the societal standard to becoming “a more emotionally and physically healthy person. . . and to take some time to breathe and reflect to inspire additional positive growth,” he said.

Through his time at NECC, he’s realized it’s more important to take the time to figure out what you need and where you should go instead of making decisions based on what other people expect from you.

“My time here continues to make me feel more independent, empowered and capable,” he said.