Writer shares her opinion on post high school education options

Rachel Vetesi ('14)/ Eastside Staff

Post high school education is a topic that frequently comes up in conversation between teenagers and their families. With today’s technology, there are so many different ways to receive a higher education after high school. A large number of East’s graduates this year are indeed going to college.

A huge misconception about college—especially in a school like Cherry Hill East—is that you have to go to an Ivy League to be successful in life. However, there are so many other options, and an Ivy League may not be the best route to success for certain people. Wherever you go, no matter how your school ranks, a college degree is a college degree.

This year’s graduating class alone will be attending schools all across the country, with a few students even spending their post- high school careers overseas.

Another huge misconception, and option that is under-rated is community college. Lots of people frown upon it, when in reality they aren’t educated enough about it to have a fair opinion.

Community college is an option that a good amount of students utilize to save money, stay close to home, or even just to knock out some General Education/ Core Curriculum classes. They have something to offer for everyone.

Bianca Gonzalez (’14) is among the group of the students who will be continuing on to community college next year.

“I chose Camden County Community College for my next two years honestly because I have no idea what I want to major in,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, like dozens of other students, would rather save money and get some general education classes out of the way, while at the same time finding what she is interested in majoring in.

“In two years I plan to transfer to a university that has a strong program for my intended major,” said Gonzalez.

Community college offers a wide variety of courses, and also you only pay for tuition, since you will not be living at school.

One of the few cons of community college is that students don’t exactly get “the college experience.” All that means is that they do not get the exact same experience as students would in a state school, private school, or any other type of college. That is because community college is a 100% commuter school.

Students do not dorm, eat, study or socialize to a great extent at a community college. Other than those things, you’re not missing out on your education, the overall reason for going to college anyway.

What people don’t realize is that, like Gonzales, students have the opportunity to receive the best of both worlds: Community college, and a college of their choice.

Community college sets you up for the real world—and even for college. In doing this, you save money and you find out what you want to major in. This is even more beneficial than it seems because lets say, for example you go to a state school, which is the top school for your major. What if you want to change your major, but have the initial idea of going to the top school for any major you took? 50% of college students change their major up to three times!

In that way, community college saves you even more money because you are not spending thousands of dollars on a school that you end up wanting to transfer out of.

The overall goal of college is to be more educated about something you are passionate about, and to have a degree to be able to pursue a career in that field. Whether that is a community college, state school, private school, or anything else, remember to always keep your options open.