A university isn’t always the right fit

Students took advantage of the beautiful American River College campus between classes on May 2, 2019. (Photo by Makenna Roy)

I was the kid in high school who thought that if I went from taking Advanced Placement classes, to taking courses at a community college then all of my hard work would have been for nothing— but was I wrong.

In my experience the only difference between transferring to a four-year college right out of high school is the price.

When I graduated high school I was set on going to California State University, Sacramento in the fall of 2017, I even went to the New Student Orientation day and everything. When I got there, however, I realized that there it wasn’t the right fit for me at the time, so I took a step back and evaluated my specific educational goals and what I needed out of my education.

The next thing I knew I was enrolling in classes at Sierra College and my decision significantly decreased my stress levels. Although I entered college already knowing my major, I still went into my freshman year not knowing what to expect for my journey.

While the classes I took and the professors I had at Sierra helped me to hone in on my path, the campus didn’t feel right — now I’m here at American River College.

I never intended on transferring from Sierra to another community college, but I guess that the ease of transferring between community colleges is what has given me the opportunity to find a place where I fit and find professors that want to see me success, not only in their classes but outside of them as well.

Even with a plan, it took me about three semesters to figure out if I was on the right path and I would have to credit my professors for that. In my experience at a community college I have been able to create bonds with my professors, that possibly wouldn’t have arrived if I was in a freshman class of 100 at a four-year.

While, you are taking the same classes at a community college, you are also able to get more one-on-one time with your professors because the class sizes are smaller and it is easier to gain their attention or create a relationship because there aren’t 80 or more faces to memorize in on class.

For a single semester as an undergraduate, Sac State in-state tuition costs $3,684 and that doesn’t include a parking pass, books or class materials, whereas the average cost per semester at ARC is around $1,104 for in-state tuition.

By paying less in tuition I have been able to not only pay for my education without taking out loans, but I have also been able to take classes that interest me, without the added stress potentially wasting my money.

I have been able to take classes that I wouldn’t have at a four-year because of the intimidation factor of it “not being in my wheelhouse,” but I feel comfortable enough here at American River College to branch out without that concern.

Besides the money, I have also been exposed to a more diverse demographic of people than if I had attended a four-year straight out of high school.

While taking both general education and major courses at both ARC and Sierra, I found that while the majority of my peers were a similar age, the classes weren’t oversaturated with students directly out of high school because the classes at a community college aren’t specifically dedicated to freshmen.

With my time nearing an end at ARC, I feel as though I have many experiences that I will be able to take with me and use to help me down the road and in my future ventures.

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About the Author

Makenna Roy
Makenna Roy is in her first semester writing for the Current and in her final semester at American River College. Roy is transferring to Sacramento State in the fall of 2019, at CSUS she plans on working towards obtaining her bachelor’s degree in both journalism and political science.

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