During my senior year of HS I had applied to CSU Channel Islands, San Marcos, and Chico. I honestly was SO lost. I remember feeling awful because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I mean I had an idea, but I didn’t feel as passionate as I thought I should (I was a Literature major with the intention of becoming an English professor & I felt so cool being able to say I was a Lit major hahah). Plus, I didn’t see myself really enjoying living at any of these schools for the next four years haha. I had the attitude where I just wanted to leave home until I went apartment hunting with my three close friends from high school where at the time, all planned to go to CSUSM together. I remember thinking to myself how real it was all getting, how expensive it’d all be, and if I really wanted this lifestyle in this location for the next few years. I took that weekend to really think about what was best for me, and I ended coming to the conclusion that it’d be best if I went to community college to have those extra two years to figure my life out! I admit, it SUCKED. Seeing friends leave to go live the “college” life while still being home wasn’t the best feeling, and it made me feel stuck. Btw, this is such a negative mentality that I so wish I could go back and change, but it’s all part of the learning process!
I graduated in 2015 and started taking my summer class a few weeks later. (Side note: Carlos (boo thang) and I just figured out last month we took the same psychology class together summer of 2015!! Haha, life’s so weird! But we never talked until 2 years later, that’s another story I’ll share someday lol.)
My first year was hard. I felt really unmotivated, insecure, and was going through alot in my personal life. Plus I was working ridiculous hours pretty much full-time employee and student. I’m proud of myself for getting through it, but it def was not easy! I remember thinking that it was gonna take forever to finish and that 2 years was too long haha, but o m g. I’m almost done with my junior year at CBU?? Life went by SO fast. I had been jumping around with different majors like: computer science, business, nursing, liberal studies, English, criminal justice, and psychology lol. I was all over the place and was SO indecisive! It was right before my last semester at community college where I was looking into communication disorders and really was so intrigued by it, but feared the courses I’d need to take! This is AWFUL, I was really letting my fears get in the way of choosing my future career…so dumb. *rolls eyes in spanish* I was looking at the courses for the major at CBU and the first couple of classes were like chemistry, general anatomy, statistics, and all these crazy long-named classes and I felt overwhelmed. I felt like I wasn’t capable of that. Ugh, I’m frustrated writing this because I was my worst enemy during this time! I was the one bringing myself down.
If it weren’t for going to community college after high school, I would have been at another school majoring in something just because I didn’t know what else to do. Plus I saved so much choosing to live at home and going to CC. Even though it wasn’t what I envisioned nor what I wanted during my senior year of HS, I am SO happy I took this path. I’m finally studying for what I feel most passionate about (communication disorders) at a school I love (CBU)! Not only did staying local help academically, but I was able to have 3 great jobs that have immensely helped with my work-related skills. Working with people, improving my communication/social skills, being responsible for paying my car payment & my ortho payment (I still can’t believe little 17-19 year old me did that), having the opportunity to work in a middle/high school setting/preschool with kids, making a difference in a student’s life, and growing as an individual. All these amazing experiences wouldn’t have happened if I left elsewhere.
In high school, especially senior year, community college was talked down upon from some of my teachers. Even the AVID teachers haha! Many would say that it’ll take you longer to finish your general education, you won’t finish at all, or you’ll get preoccupied with whatever else life throws at you and do poorly in class. This can be true if you aren’t dedicated, but can also happen at a CSU/UC. It all depends on how much you want it. If you have a plan and goals, you can do just as well as any other student at the most prestigious school. An education is an education, and no one should make anyone else feel any less for choosing to go a different route to better their future!
I got my Associates in Social & Behavioral Sciences last spring, transferred to CBU as a junior, and maintained a job all within a two year frame. I think I’m doing pretty well, and I do not regret any of the choices I’ve made regarding my academics. If I can do it, anyone can do it!
So, the best advice I could give to you if you’re going through something similar, is to trust the process and not to stress about the things you can’t control. Everything happens for a reason and these obstacles shape us to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s really okay to have a different path compared to everyone else. It’s also perfectly fine for everything not to go the way you wanted it, that’s life. You’re not supposed to have every single detail of your life figured out after high school. I knew that’s what I struggled with when it seemed like I was the only one who didn’t know what I was passionate about. But most importantly, don’t compare yourself to anyone else! You are you! Every experience in your life is gonna shape you into the person you’ll become, it’s important that we all face various situations in our lives because that’s what makes us unique. Not only will they help you in the future, but it can be helpful to those who are going through it too.
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