By Reeva Askar and Nancy Azzam
When choosing the right college, some people prefer to remain close to home. For those students, community colleges offer a safe haven. However, there are those who want a little more freedom and may choose to go to a university in another city or even another state. No matter the option, big decisions come with leaving high school and entering college.
With all this in mind, there isn’t one college that provides the same sense of enjoyment, satisfaction, or overall happiness for everyone. People have different needs and wants that should be met and there are so many universities that provide all these differing necessities. Students are just looking for the right fit with a university that benefits them.
Students come and go from Granada Hills Charter (GHC) but often never leave for college in the same direction. Here are three GHC alumni from the class of 2022 that have confronted this big decision.
Many students find that attending community college offers a more cost-effective alternative to higher education.
“Pierce and other community colleges offer what’s called the promise program where they offer two years of education for free which is very helpful,” Roselyn Rivas, a freshman at Pierce College, said. “Community colleges also have different programs that are connected over four years making the transfer process very easy. An example would be the TAG program that allows a student to commit to a UC school and they are guaranteed a spot in that school.”
There are not only benefits to taking certain classes or programs, but attending a community college may offer a better environment for students in general.
“The workload in community college is harder than in high school but not as much, for example, CSUN,” Rivas said. “It gives a gradual increase in difficulty for school work. It is good because you don’t jump into school all stressed, I am really living my best life.”
For others, community college may be too close to home. Many of these students gravitate to schools in California but not in their hometown. This gives them freedom, but keeps them close enough to go home when they are homesick.
“It was a very tough decision but I knew that Berkeley would push me out of my comfort zone in ways that I would never get from going to a small school close to home,” Megan Merrifield, a freshman at U.C. Berkeley said.
Merrifield, like many, was confronted with the difficult decision of choosing a college far from home or remaining within minutes of family and friends.
“Berkeley has the benefit of school pride which was something I really wanted,” Merrifield said. “It’s an incredibly diverse campus with lots of resources and clubs that I have made sure to take advantage of. Funny enough, it also has a class where students can learn to play the carillon, (the bell tower in the middle of campus) which I decided I have to take.”
Out of State University
Being close to family and friends may not be what a young student is looking for, though.
Straight out of high school, many students want the freedom to do and go where they want, and meet new people.
This leads many to want to go to a school out of state where they can finally gain the independence that they were searching for.
“School outside of California is very different from at home,” Rhythm Cannon, a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago, said. “At home, having a car was pretty much a necessity. However, here that is not the case. I can ride the train, walk, or bike anywhere. It’s also college, so it’s much more laid back than high school. I miss my friends and family at home, but I’m making new friends and getting closer with another family out here. I would say there are far more benefits than drawbacks, one drawback being so far away from everyone. It hurts, but it’s necessary for growth.”