By Ismony Darbouze contributor to the student newspaper The Current.


Community college is thought by many to be the last choice in the college-decision-making process. No one throws a bed party filled with community college merch, and few high school seniors proudly wear their community college T-shirt in front of classmates parading the names of faraway universities.

Community college, more often than not, seems to be the safer option in the midst of a million. It’s looked at, by many, as the safe choice for people who are not sure what to do with their lives, an institution they can rely on from the comfort of their own homes.

So, now that you are here. Are you feeling shunned amongst your peers? Check.

Feeling like you’re missing out on the college experience? Check.

Feeling like there is no such thing as brotherhood or sisterhood when it comes to a community that is seen as rejects or just too cool to care about school? Um. Maybe.

If this is how Brookdale feels to you, take another look around. For many students, this is simply not the case.

“I love community college because I am able to live at home. I feel like there is more of a community in regard to classmates and teachers,” said Daysha Torre (pictured above), a 26-year-old nursing major from Matawan. “Not to mention, there is a comfort in community schooling. You want to stay at home and be able to study in your house.”

Community college is also frowned upon by many. When attempting to make college decisions, many students lean toward bigger schools with a robust campus and atmosphere.

This ideology of having the “college experience” has been drilled into many high schoolers making these choices in their senior year. Whether it be from counselors, advisers, or peers, it seems like the sentiment shared is that the only way to have a fruitful college lifestyle is to go out of state and away from home.

“Honestly, I felt pretty bummed out when I saw my friends deciding to go to universities,” said Madelyn Barrett, a 19-year-old anthropology major from Howell, “Though, I think community college is the smarter option, not gonna lie, I felt out of the loop when I saw all my friends doing bed parties and parading around in their college T-shirts. I felt one step behind, especially because nobody wants to talk or be celebrated about going to community.”

There seems to be a major misconception about community college. If you decide to go there, you are less than smart in comparison to students who decide to go to universities. The stigma doesn’t just stop there.

In considering a four-year university, there seems to be a level of prestige surrounding it. Whether it be on the basis of scholarships, sororities, frats, and whatnot, people who spend or take out thousands of dollars to attend these schools must be getting the benefit of a better education simply because of the funds spent.

Another concern some might have is that a smaller campus could limit the possibility of resources, ventures, and fun. It seems as if at a four-year university, students might have a favorable ability to create formidable relationships and bonds with peers moving in, through clubs, dorm life, etc.

The truth is these reasons are false. Here at Brookdale, you can very well create and sustain relationships just like a four-year college.

“I feel like with community college, every student is represented and has options. Not many universities can offer that,” said Amanda Kilroy, a 22-year-old radiology major from Ocean Township.

Kilroy also notes how much less expensive Brookdale is than a four-year university.

“Community college really is a necessity. It is more affordable for people who live in a lesser income area. It benefits you a lot rather than going to a four-year because you have so much time to decide what you want to do,” Kilroy said.

Additionally, she noted, “It’s safer for students who are afraid of the unknown and need time figuring things out.”

All of this is why community is so vital. It’s simple. It matters. It brings students a level of comfort for students who are struggling in various aspects of their life. It’s more affordable than taking out hefty loans. It offers a quality education, and it’s safer. Maybe that’s why so many students stay local, because community is so important.