When planning for college, you must decide if you are going to live on or off campus. So, what if you plan to attend a community college? Do you even have an on-campus housing option? When weighing your educational opportunities, you need not only consider the obvious details such as location, cost and size, but you should find out exactly what your housing prospects are, as well.
The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a school that isn’t offering the living arrangements you desire. So, have YOU thought about it? Put yourself under the microscope and ask yourself if you have a clear understanding of where you will reside once you become a college student.
For those of you contemplating community college, you have probably accepted the fact that you will be a commuter. While commuting is an adequate situation for some students, it does not have to be your fate if you don’t want it to be.
In the past, the selection process for on-campus housing was more limited, as a good number of community colleges did not offer this option. However, due to the current state of our economy and the increasing costs of, well pretty much everything, more students are choosing two-year schools over four-year schools. Thus, the influx of students to community colleges has resulted in more community colleges offering on-campus housing.
Alexandria Pellingra, a 22-year-old student now attending SUNY Geneseo (www.geneseo.edu) once attended Monroe Community College (www.monroecc.edu) in Rochester, N.Y. Pellingra received her associate’s degree from MCC, and she lived in a dorm on campus during her freshman year. She lived in a suite with four other girls and had her own bedroom.
While no one can promise you that you will be fortunate enough to have your own room, Pellingra says there are some real, significant benefits to living on campus. “I actually didn’t realize at the time how beneficial being close to all the staff and facilities of the college was. Being able to meet with professors any time of day and being able to spend nights in the library and be close to accessible printers and writing labs was really great,” says Pellingra.
In addition, Pellingra says that she was able to experience the real feeling of college and meet people that she never would have met before. “It was a really great year and I think it made me more independent. I would have regretted it a lot if I hadn’t lived on campus,” she adds.
It’s all about you
While on-campus living was the right decision for Pellingra, it isn’t for everyone, and some students would actually prefer a commute to stay in the comfort of their own home. Starting college can be a difficult transition and if “leaving the nest” isn’t something you feel comfortable with, then don’t force it. You have options and you should make yourself familiar with all of them. Take the time to make an informed decision about where you will thrive and get the most out of your college years.
Education comes first
According to Monroe Community College, their mission is to be “committed to enriching the educational experience through providing a quality living-learning environment to a diverse community.”
In the end, it’s all about your education. It doesn’t matter where you live, but how you live, and if you are dedicated to making your academic career a success, your school will provide you with all of the support to do so, community college or otherwise.
Jessica Shoemaker is a freelance writer who lives in Rochester, N.Y.