Two years long enough for students

Keith Kaczmarek, Reporter

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In a recent interview, Bakersfield College President Greg Chamberlain said, “Register early and carefully. Take only what you need to grow and go.”

To add to that sentiment, I’d like to say: “Don’t let anything here tie you down.”

Coming to community college can be a frightening and exhilarating experience for some. It’s their first exposure to college-level academics, they are marginally in the adult world, and for some they are just realizing the benefits of a small income from their part-time work or financial aid.

That being said, it’s a trap.

Community colleges don’t have what you actually need, and it’s easy to get stuck here because you’ve formed connections to people and institutions here.

People join clubs, get involved in student government, or take classes that sound interesting and not the ones they need to graduate.

As traps go, it’s a pleasant one, but that’s only because people don’t know what they are missing. Being at a 4-year school is a much more rewarding and rigorous experience, and any time spent taking classes you don’t need that could be spent at a university doing upper-level work in your major is a waste.

Real employment that one can put on a resume puts money in your pocket, starts a career and exposes you to a world where age and what high school you went to are meaningless.

Heck, even the chance to get out of this town and meet people outside of your comfortable social circle is going to be a horizon-boosting experience that will change your life.

Out in the adult world, no one cares what you accomplished in community college, so don’t think that the time you spent as the president of a club or acing an Introduction course or doing a play is going to impress anyone.

Community college is about where it gets you, not about what you did here.

If your time in the Theater Club helped you get an acting gig on “Modern Family,” then great. If your time on the SGA gave you an opportunity to get an internship with a senator, then you are doing something right.

Hopefully, that “A” on your Intro To Logic final earned you a great recommendation for a scholarship or entrance to a 4-year school, or your great performance in Anatomy and Physiology got you into a nursing school.

Community college is a pit stop to better things, so do your best to not make this a three- or four-year interruption in your life. Plan it like a general plans a war, and ignore the various distractions that student life tries to offer.

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