I Attended a State, a Private, and Now a UC

It’s rare to meet someone that has been to all four types of colleges. But hello! I am that person.

The reason behind this was, to put it bluntly, I had no idea what I wanted to do. With that being said, here are my takes on each institution. Disclaimer: I am not bashing the qualities of each college; I am just pointing out the observations I made while attending the school.

State Schools are Mean

Being at a state school as an 18-year-old opened my eyes to the fact that there are some nasty people in this world. The students at the state school I attended would prioritize themselves and themselves only. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but if it meant for them to push and shove their way to the top then by all means they would take it. In this instance, I had many people who refused to form study groups with me, wouldn’t tell me how they succeeded in the class, and even wouldn’t let me sit by them. People would get up and move away. It was a dog-eat-dog world.

Hallelujah! Salvation and Glory: Private

Most private universities are religion-based or at least the one I went to was. It was a SDA school, or Seventh Day Adventist university that nestled itself right at the top of “Holy Hill,” as its students dubbed. I learned the basics of spirituality through the required religion classes but there’s something quite off about holding a prestigious reputation of being one of the top schools for students wanting to go into the healthcare field but also forcing students to attend mass every Thursday and forcing students to live on campus in the dorms. This didn’t bother me so much because spirituality was something I loved to practice because they taught me how to be spiritual within myself. However, it wasn’t ideal to be forced into Bible study, a vegetarian-only cafeteria, and 9:00 PM curfews. In college.

Diversity: Community College

Ah, community college. A home of diverse students from all corners of culture, socioeconomic class, and age. I honestly loved it! The freedom was exhilarating as they stress the fact that you can be whoever you want to be. It was a place where you could grow, become humble, and meet people from all walks of life. You could be in an Intro to Public Speaking class and find out there’s someone who never got their high school diploma, someone who has three kids and two jobs, and someone who went to a state school and a private school and now a community college. Being exposed to so many people who were driven to a common goal puts you in a place where you learn to be inclusive of everyone, and that’s what makes going to community college so great to your development as a person.

UC: The Experience

It’s my second quarter at a UC and it’s a combination of all three. There is competitiveness in all aspects, a spirituality among the students to get through their days, but above all else there is diversity. It encompasses students working to accomplish goals and to be humble and spiritual to oneself, and exposes us to the diverse students of the world.

There is a prestige to a UC, but the quality of education does not increase or decrease with any institution. In fact, it just provokes new levels of thinking, invites people to interact and work together for a common goal, and increases your own identity and spirituality within you. I guess the takeaway from this is that there is a prestige not in the quality of education in a UC but there is prestige in the privilege we are exposed to here at campus. It’s something that we neglect to see and acknowledge and that’s coming from someone who has seen all types of colleges. And if you haven't, acknowledge that the classroom you are in and the professor that is lecturing you is something to not take for granted.