A Summer Journey, A Summer Melt

Jonathan is a young guy living in New York City and he has decided to start college in the Fall. He’s heard from two colleges that have accepted him and he’s chosen the one he wants to attend. Although he is enthusiastic about it, he is anxious too about the many things this college is asking him to complete before starting his first semester—high school grades, immunizations, financial aid application, regents scores, placement test notifications and the list goes on and on. At one point, he feels overwhelmed and simply lost about where to start or where to go for help. Jonathan’s parents are supportive of his plans but since they didn’t go to college, it’s hard to put themselves in his shoes. Meanwhile, Jonathan knows he needs to work at least part-time so that he can help with the bills at home. The fall semester is around the corner and Jonathan hasn’t yet submitted everything.

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Look around: who attends a Community College?

"You need to take remedial courses" she said out loud while looking at the sheet of paper in her hands. "Ok, so you're going to take this, this, and this" she said, with a sign of relief as when someone finds a solution to a problem, and pointing her finger to a sheet of paper with a list of courses. I remained silent and before I was ready to say something, she handed me the sheet of paper and continued: "Go to the lab down the hall to register and don't forget to print your schedule before you leave, ok? Good luck." So, I went. This was my first advisement session in college.

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A discussion about Community Colleges

I still remember how confused I was when I read that letter. I had applied to CUNY and my only option had been Hunter College—It was my only idea of what college was back then, for some reason. I had moved to NYC just a few months before and everything was new to me. As a prospective college student, I wasn’t looking for options, I didn’t consider anything else beyond my single chosen college. I followed what the letter suggested, I didn’t go to Hunter College; and instead, I went ahead and enrolled at LaGuardia Community College. It was a beautiful spring season when I started, I remember. And although I enrolled thinking that I was going to transfer after obtaining 24 credits, I ended up graduating. I don’t regret it.

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