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Life at Diablo Valley College – Taking the Road Less Traveled from Dublin High School

December 21, 2016

DUBLIN, CA–Choosing to go to a community college after graduation is quite the taboo risk in Dublin. Articles in this ‘Life In College’ section cover students that go to amazing four year schools, and here I am writing about my life at Diablo Valley College. Don’t be deceived; I graduated with all A’s and one B, I did very well on my SAT’s, and I currently am in an internship program with a fashion journalism company. So, why DVC? No doubt that I had the grades and SAT score to get into a four year college, but I had to look at the bigger picture.

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As graduation was soon approaching, many of my friends had asked me where I had applied to. Their faces said enough when I nonchalantly said, “DVC.” I felt like in that moment they thought slightly lower of me. They didn’t think I was dumb; they just thought my decision was where the dumb people go. This is a common misconception of many Dublin High School students. Students joke about their bad test scores and say, “Well, I guess I’m going to Las Po!” At a school like Dublin High, the best is what anyone strives for. It’s not outwardly said that every graduate must go to a highly accredited four year, but it is heavily implied within the student body. The student body has this belief that if one does not get into a decent college, their future is completely done with. I’m writing this article to prove, with my case, that it is in fact a misconception.

My friends towards the end of senior year were stressed beyond belief: the deadlines, the essays, senioritis. All of that listed and more. I, on the other hand, was worried about the moment as it was happening. I didn’t have an extensive application to fill out for DVC nor did I have to have a certain SAT score. It felt relieving because for once my grades weren’t determining my future. My parents were proud of me regardless because with choosing community college came with many, many benefits. These benefits are not commonly talked about; this baffles me because the benefits are astounding.

img_9081For starters, I’m saving money on my general education classes that aren’t any different than a general ed class at a state school. A close friend of mine, that attends San Jose State, was even reading the same book as I was in my Freshmen English class. Second, I get to still have home cooked meals; no one can argue that this is an amazing thing. Third, the class size is reasonable; it is a nice transition for any graduating high school senior. My professors don’t have to project their voice to a lecture hall full of more than 150 students. That way in this case, I get more personal help from my professors. All which in the long run will allow me to easily transition to the “real” college world. Fourth, transfer students are often looked at first when it comes to the admission process. Therefore, getting into any highly acclaimed school will not be as difficult as it is if one were to apply as a high school senior. Fifth, I don’t have to leave my dogs! In all seriousness, the mere fact that I’m saving money is enough for anyone to be convinced. Once I transfer, I will only be in two years of debt rather than four years or more.

I have just recently finished my first semester of college with all A’s and one B (It was almost an A; I tried *sigh*). Some may discredit my accomplishment with the argument that “well, she’s just in community college.” But no, oh no. I worked just as hard as anyone and community colleges don’t show any remorse when they assign ridiculously long essays just as any other “regular” college doesn’t either.  I am proud of myself and my decision. No, my mom doesn’t get to brag to her friends that she runs into at Safeway that her daughter is at Stanford. However, I get to brag when I pay off my loans and everyone else is still in debt. I had an enjoyable senior year, and I was able to be a kid while I still was able to. I didn’t have to worry about anything, and my stress level was at an all time low.

I suffer from major anxiety. I get scared over anything and although I take medication for it, nothing could’ve hindered the fear I had about this question: was choosing community college the right choice? My parents believed it was, and so did I. However, there were days where I would just be a sobbing mess because I thought I wasn’t going to be successful. What’s new though? That’s every high school senior’s narrative. I assure everyone that I am indeed more than okay, and choosing community college is not a self demoralizing thing.

I don’t get the dorm life experience, the abundance of new friends experience, or the sorority recruitment experience. However, I will experience all of that eventually. It is not like I will never be able to do those things. I had look past those experiences that I’d be missing out on and look at the bigger picture. I have the rest of my life to have a sisterhood; I mean, I have an actual sister right now, and one is about all that I can handle lol! My life at Diablo Valley College is great so far. I have met amazing friends and my mind has opened to the idea much more. I used to be skeptical, because as I said, it’s not a choice many prompt graduating seniors to do.

I went the road less traveled, and I am writing this article to prove to everyone that the road less traveled is not a bad road. I could not be any happier with my decision, and I know that my wallet is happy as well. I will continue to write on my personal blog, participate in my internship and maintain good grades until it is my turn to transfer. Life is good, and whether life is good or not does not depend on what score I got on my SAT or ACT. I highly encourage many incoming college freshmen to look into the idea of community college.

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees. Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” – Katie Couric

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Alyssa Arriaga – Dublin High School Class of 2016

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe permalink
    December 21, 2016 10:17 am

    Thank you for this perspective. While a 4 year school worked for me, the exorbitant cost has me questioning its value. I love these essays.

    • December 21, 2016 12:16 pm

      Thank you! I agree though; some routes are just for different people, but the cost is always a main problem for everyone I’m sure. Nothing wrong with going straight to a 4 year at all either: if that’s a person’s passion, then I say go ahead! But of course, the price tag comes back to haunt them 😂

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