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Words from the editors

As I prepare to enter my final semester at LCCC, I find it important to address the stigma around community college students.

From the start, my decision to begin my college career at a community college rather than a four-year university certainly received criticism. Point blank: community college students do not receive the same respect as those that attend universities.

Yes, grades play an important role in demonstrating a student’s disciplinary and memorization skills, but they ignore crucial details or disadvantages students may face in the classroom. However, society typically views students that fall below the traditional goal grade point average of 3.00 as worth less than their higher-scoring peers.

During my time at community college, I’ve learned that my peers couldn’t be farther from what the public eye thinks. One friend moved on to attend Yale University from LCCC. I know students that transfer easily to well-known universities like Penn State, Temple, Kutztown, or Bucknell. The most common theme among those students? They simply want to attend community college to save money – but society seems to forget this.

I graduated high school with a 2.9 GPA. My transcript read one story, while I knew a different narrative. After losing my biggest supporter freshman year of high school, my dad, I not only lost motivation to perform well, but I also faced the daily struggle of adjusting to my new role in my household. Mentally, I aged beyond my 14-year-old self’s comprehension; I felt more in the mindset of my 40-year-old mother. Did my transcript tell that? No.

I know that students who graduated with a lower GPA than mine pursued their educations at universities; I knew I could do that too. Did I want to? No. I understood that transcripts act like an unofficial impression between student and admission officer, and that mine would not tell my backstory, just that I only maintained a GPA of 2.9 in high school.

To me, community college would allow me to show schools what I really can do, all while keeping more money in my pocket and providing me with more scholarship opportunities the higher my GPA climbed. My GPA rose from 2.9 in high school to 3.6 now.

So, leaving my final letter as an editor to the Paw Print, I want to leave our readers with an important message I think we all need to hear every now and then: you are not any less of a student for attending a community college. You are not unintelligent. You are capable of just as much as your peers starting at four-year universities. Keep persevering because you really can start at LCCC and go anywhere.

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