The way I see it, there are two things we need to do for ourselves and the college we are attending: one, take some pride in our own choices and education, and two: share that sentiment with our community and our lawmakers.
Our opinions, desires, and ideas for our future, and thus the future of our society, shouldn’t be sequestered in campus hallways and nearby coffee shops. Everyone here has an idea, or a goal, or a reason for going to community college.
Being here, and having the opportunity to pursue whatever it is that you are pursuing, is more than important. It’s imperative. If it matters to you, then please, let someone know.
There is a student rally happening at the State Capitol building on the 27th, and I hope everyone who reads this at least seriously considers going.
Really, I hope you just go. Because what happens here is important, and people will readily forget that if we don’t let them know. Maybe you have a required test on Thursday afternoon that you simply can’t miss. That’s fine. Tell someone about this rally. Maybe they will go, and that’s one more person that our community will be able to connect to this cause.
At the very least, I think we need to take a step back and realize the vital service that community college provides.
I feel like community college is often an understated presence in our community. I can’t count the times I’ve heard people use the term “real college” to refer to universities and four year colleges.
This isn’t a university. But it is a gateway to universities, if that’s where you want to go. It is a college environment, where we study the same material they study at universities, and where professors often work really hard to cater to students.
Most important, I think, this is a community of people who are trying to do something for themselves. Students are here to learn better English writing skills, to change careers, to chase down that popular and elusive nursing career. People can come here when they want to save their money for something else, like an adventure overseas or a new house.
Community college is also the place you come when you need to get a solid educational foundation, but you aren’t sure exactly what you want to pursue, and, understandably, don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars finding out. Community college, for now anyway, helps you do that.
With all this in mind, I think community college warrants our support, publicly or privately. Even more important, maybe, is that we need to learn to start speaking up in defense of the things we need and deserve, instead of saying nothing and then complaining when more cuts are made.
I heard a particularly eloquent speech from a British student a few months ago, addressing the much-publicized rise in college tuition in Britain and his generation’s motivation to stand up for themselves, and let their government know how detrimental such decisions could be to it’s youth. I’m definitely not saying that anyone should be smashing Prince Charles’ car window (I’m a fan of the guy, personally) in defense of their cause, but I do appreciate the sentiment these students are expressing, which is that education means the world to them, and they are not going to watch it become less attainable without registering a protest.
If you can’t rally in person for community colleges, at least think about taking some pride in your school and your own pursuit of education or career or a new life. And look around you. All these people are trying to do something too. Why not do it together?