Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dear Pasadena City College

For those of you who don’t already know, I will be transferring from Pasadena City College to Grand Canyon University. I wrote a heart felt thank you letter to my community college that I went to. I am so grateful for the positive experience I had the past two years! Enjoy.

Dear PCC,

Thank you for introducing me to people who are different than me.

I grew up going to Arcadia schools and everyone that I went to school with lived in the same city as me. I understand that everyone I grew up with wasn’t the same as me but Arcadia schools aren’t as diverse as Pasadena City College. People from all over the county attend the college, which provides a plethora of people of different races, religions, and family history. During my time at PCC I have realized that people who may seem different than me actually end up being similar.   Meeting new people at PCC has helped me see the world in a different way!

Thank you for re-teaching me how to make friends.

When you go to community college you feel like you are missing out on so much because all of your friends from high school are “living it up” at a four-year college. The first day of school you tell yourself that you are going to keep your head down until it is time to transfer. Before you know it, you have a group project and realize that the people you are working with are in the same position as you! Making friends becomes easier if you are willing to put yourself out there.

Thanks for teaching me how to use my resources.

Pasadena City College has an amazing library that is filled with thousands of resources that is open to any student. My high school also had plenty of resources to use but in college I really paid attention to how to use them.

Thank you for teaching me that relationships are important.

I have realized over the past few years that I have had some awesome professors and some lame professors, but through the ups and the downs I have realized that relationships are important. Every professor has one thing in common: they love students who take the time to meet with them after class and take the time to get to know them. The professors that I got to know when I was at PCC taught the classes that I did well in, and it wasn’t a coincidence. Not only does your effort to get to know them leave a lasting impression, but it helps keep you in check. When you become close with your professor you feel a higher level of accountability.

Thank you for showing me what I’m good at.

The ONLY good thing about general education classes is studying a wide variety of different things. Now this could have been a great experience for you, or a bad one. For me this was a positive experience! I never knew I would love psychology until I took that intro to psych class, and most importantly, I would have never discovered my love for English. Yes, I know that I have taken English classes my whole life, but my English classes and professors at PCC helped me realize my love for reading and writing. Every English teacher I had pushed me to my full potential and I could not be more grateful. They also taught me to not be shy about my writing. The more people who read it, the better! Now, moving forward, at Grand Canyon University I will be studying Elementary Education with an Emphasis in English and I could not be more excited!

Thank you for teaching me that time to myself is not scary.

Days in the PCC library can be lonely at times. People who hang out on Campus are either studying or in class and most of the time there is no one to hang out with. Before I had a car, I would spend my 4 hour breaks sitting in the library studying or doing nothing. This was especially hard for my extraverted self. I constantly need someone beside me to keep me company or have a conversation with. My alone time at PCC made me realize that being alone isn’t as scary as I thought. Sometimes it is PEACEFUL! Who would have thunk it?

And thank you for teaching me to stick up for what I believe in.

I will never stop telling the story of how during the first day of philosophy class, my professor asked the class if anyone believed in God. Of course I was the only one to raise my hand! Although I have had a lot of encounters similar to this one in my life, this one was the scariest. I felt so alone and unable to believe that I could see eye to eye with anyone in my class. The semester turned out better than I thought, and at the end of the class I felt like Jesus’ love is not something to be ashamed of, but to boast about!

Final thoughts:

Ever since I was in junior high, I felt this constant pressure to attend a 4-year college after finishing high school. I never even considered going to Pasadena City College. Whether you choose to believe it or not, our high schools do not support the students who choose to attend a junior college as much as they support the students who plan to attend a 4-year university. Although many will believe that attending a 4-year university is the best thing to do, students who choose to transfer out of a community college should not feel as if they are not as successful or less than the students who are having the 4-year experience right off the bat.

Students who attend community colleges go into their two-year experience with past students’ horror stories lurking in their memory. Luckily, I was one of the rare ones that started PCC with an open mind. Many students just like me have felt or are feeling the pressure that I felt as a high school senior but I am hoping this post shines a good light on a topic that is not often talked about. College should be a positive experience no matter how you choose to do it!


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