So you’re considering community college vs going straight to a four-year university?
Student debt is a hot topic right now and the cost of higher education should be a concern for most young people.
Unless your parents are paying for your education or you’ve got a scholarship lined up, you’re looking at graduating with a serious financial burden — assuming you follow the recommended plan of getting student loans.
This is one of the main reasons that some students decide to go to community college first, before going to a four-year university. Then there are plenty of people that don’t meet the academic requirements to go to a university straight out of high school.
You know who you are — don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
Either way, if you’re reading this article, then you’ve likely already decided that you want to go to college. You just aren’t sure which path to take.
(Whether or not college is actually worth it is a topic for another discussion.)
Before I start comparing the two, let me give you a brief background on my college experience.
As a kid, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to go to college because my mom couldn’t afford it. Since I knew that I would have to pay for school on my own, I was told that going to community college first was the smart option.
This led me to slack off a bit in high school, because I knew I didn’t need straight A’s to get into community college. Had I known about the various scholarship opportunities, I would’ve done things differently — but I’ll get into that later.
After graduating high school, I enrolled in at Tulsa Community College, while all of my friends went away to different universities. I moved out of my mom’s house and got a place with several other guys and worked full-time to pay for school and living expenses.
After a couple of years, I transferred to the University of Oklahoma — the school I wanted to go to since I was a kid.
Once I was there, I continued to work to pay for living expenses, but took out student loans to pay for tuition. I eventually graduated from OU with a bachelor’s in Economics.
The experience I had at those two different schools were dramatically different and these are my insights.
The Pros and Cons of Community College
People talk down on community college and I have to agree that most of their criticisms are true.
However, community college is still a decent option for some people and it’s way better than those shitty, overpriced tech schools that advertise so heavily.
The Advantages of Going to Community College
Community college has two major advantages:
- The cost is significantly cheaper
- Maintaining a high GPA is really easy
Community College Saves You Money
Community college is incredibly affordable. I was able to pay for all of my tuition and school expenses, along with living expenses, just by waiting tables.
If you’re paying your way through school, you can easily finish the majority of your prerequisite courses without getting a single loan.
Community College Gives Your GPA a Nice 4.0 Cushion
The actual classes at community college are super easy. This is a good thing and a bad thing, which I’ll contrast in the next section.
The good thing about it being so easy is that you can maintain a high GPA. If you’re graduating high school with a low GPA, you’ll be able to get into much better universities after two years at community college — assuming you get your shit together.
Outside of the science classes, you really don’t even need to study or hardly attend lecture to get an A — which isn’t the case at a university.
The Negatives of Going to Community College
There are two primary things I hated about community college:
- You’re surrounded by idiots
- The education is terrible
It’s True, Community College is For Dummies
I only made a handful of friends in my two years at community college. I simply couldn’t relate to most of the people there.
While there are a few people like me that went to community college because they were paying for school and trying to save money — we were definitely the minority. And we always stood out like a sore thumb.
All the other people were the dumb fucks that barely graduated high school and had absolutely no ambition in life.
I’m not saying that a low GPA makes you dumb or that a high GPA makes you smart — there are many, many exceptions. What I’m saying is the majority of people in community college are dumb, and coincidentally, they couldn’t get into a four-year school.
Students and faculty alike at community college were 95% idiots. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if they were just dumb, but the lack of ambition is what makes the whole situation so depressing.
That said, the 5% of students and professors that had working brains were all down-to-earth people that had a lot going for them, despite being at community college.
Since I’ve already painted the picture that the professors are dumb, the students are dumb, and the material is easy, you can probably draw the conclusion that the quality of education is poor. This comes back to bite you in the ass when you transfer to a university — at least, if you’re taking a challenging program.
The Pros and Cons of Attending a 4-Year University
Community college and four-year universities are night and day.
The experience is completely different.
The Advantages of Going to a 4-Year University
Overall, going to a four-year university is significantly better than community college.
Here are the key advantages that stand out to me:
- Better quality education
- Improved social life
- More opportunities
You’ll Learn More at a 4-Year University
While I don’t think universities provide an education that prepares you for success in life — they at least do a better job than community college. Sure, there are plenty of bullshit liberal arts programs and a lot of the business courses I took were a complete joke.
But, universities do have some intelligent professors that genuinely care to challenge you and teach you something useful. (However, most care more about brainwashing you than actually educating you — I’ll get to that in the next section.)
You’ll Have More Fun at a 4-Year University
Aside from a better education, which is obvious, another major advantage is the social life. The “college experience” that people talk about happens outside of class.
If you’re only going to college to get your degree, it’s going to be a long, boring four years.
Your college degree is just a piece of paper that ultimately becomes a check mark on your resume. Unless you graduate from an Ivy League school, no one gives a shit about your degree — they just care that you have it.
If you’re going to be there for four to five years, you might as well have fun and make the most of your time.
At universities, there’s a wider diversity of people — which makes it easier to find people with a similar mindset.
You will find more people that are actually interesting and can hold an intelligent, thoughtful conversation.
Other than the fact that it’s easier to find friends at a university, your sex life will be better as well. The girls at four-year colleges are significantly more attractive than at community college.
You’ll Have More Opportunities at a 4-Year University
I’m not saying that college is all about partying, though. That’s just a nice bonus.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of going to a four-year university is the amount of opportunities available to you — especially if you’re going to a reputable school.
These opportunities include:
- The chance to network with winners
- Better internships
- More job recruiting
You always hear these amazing success stories of the kid or group of friends that drop out of college to build a business and become billionaires.
Notice how these people never dropped out of community college.
Just think about it.
The Negatives of Going to a 4-Year University
University life is better overall, but it comes with some downsides as well.
A few of the key negatives that stand out are:
- Cost of tuition
- Liberal propaganda and PC culture
- Greek life
You’ll Spend More (Rack Up More Debt) at a 4-Year University
The cost of tuition at universities is significantly higher than community college and it’s rising every year.
Granted, you’re getting a better education and a bachelor’s degree instead of an associate’s degree. However, the increased cost far exceeds the increased value of your degree.
Unless you’re getting a STEM degree, you’re going directly to Wall Street, or you get a solid sales job — you won’t be making much immediately after college.
But KW, didn’t you make six figures your first year out of college?
Yes, but I’m not afraid to admit that there was some luck involved in my situation. It was a combination of hard work, timing, and seizing the right opportunity.
Even before oil prices tanked, the scenario that got me my start in the oil business no longer existed.
I’m all for starting your own business and having high ambitions, but realistically, most people are going to need to get a more traditional job directly out of college.
And the majority of bachelor’s degrees DON’T lead to high starting salaries.
If you’re paying for your own education, you can save thousands of dollars by going to community college for your first two years.
Liberal Propaganda and PC Culture Will Brainwash You (If You Let It)
I intentionally avoid politics on this website. I simply don’t care to debate simpletons.
If you’re curious, my views don’t completely align with any party and I’ve only ever registered as Independent.
However, opinions aside, the fact remains that universities are hubs for liberal propaganda.
It’s to the point that it’s just retarded.
Speaking of which, you can’t call something “retarded” without being chastised by PC Nazis. Fortunately I was on my way out when this PC movement really started to take off, but things have gotten much worse.
Even my economics courses were all taught by professors that were very clear about their far-left views. Until that point, I didn’t think it was possible to be an economist and not be fiscally conservative.
I was so young and naive.
It’s important to understand that you’re getting a very biased education. It’s easy to get sucked into a particular way of thinking because 99% of your professors will be extremely liberal and the majority of your peers will simply go along with it because they can’t think for themselves.
Most professors build their career in the academic world and have completely lost touch with the “real world” that they are supposedly preparing you for.
Get your degree, have some fun, and move on. Don’t take the propaganda seriously.
The Douchey-Frat-Guy and Slutty-Sorority-Girl Stereotypes Are Real
Fraternities and sororities are a big part of university culture.
Some universities are more Greek-centered than others, but it’s very common at average to top-level universities.
The worst thing about OU was the prevalence of fraternities and sororities.
However, I can’t say that I resented it because it worked as an effective filter for making friends and meeting girls.
Since everyone proudly displays their house letters on their clothes, backpacks, and cars every day — it was easy to spot the people that needed mommy and daddy to buy them friends.
I prefer meeting people that are independent, can think for themselves, and are interesting enough that they don’t have to buy a social life.
However, universities really cater to Greek life in the first two years of college and there honestly are a lot of social events that you miss out on by not being in a frat.
This didn’t affect me because I was at community college during those two years. The house I had was basically a small frat house, except my roommates weren’t douchebags and we didn’t make each other do anything degrading. But we did throw some insane parties!
To be fair, I have one good friend that was in a frat, but even he didn’t like his frat and left after a couple of years.
I’m proof that you can have a great social life in college, even as an introvert, without joining a frat.
If it’s something you really want to do, go for it, but don’t give in to the peer pressure if you know it’s not for you.
If I could do it all over, here’s what I would do differently:
- I would’ve focused on getting a scholarship in high school
- I would’ve gone straight to a university
- My primary focus in college (besides class, of course) would be networking
But I can’t go back and I’m not mad at how things turned out.
If you’re leaning towards community college for financial reasons, or you just can’t get into your desired school, it’s not the end of the world. My advice to you is:
- Take 18-20 hours a semester — this will help you adjust your study habits and work ethic to handle 12-15 hours at a university. Also, you’ll save more money by taking more classes at community college.
- Focus obsessively on building a 4.0 GPA — This will allow you to transfer anywhere you want and will give you a cushion to protect your GPA when you take more challenging courses later on.
- Forget about Aderrall, look into nootropics — I wish I had gotten into nootropics in college!
If there’s a demand, I’ll write more about college. Right now I don’t plan on covering this topic too much — which is why this post is so long.
Until next time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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