Archive for June 9th, 2008

Next stop college

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Q: Masters, I am about to start college and have no idea what my major should be. I keep going back and forth. I think that I need to sample all the possibilities. I have been wondering if it would be best for me to attend a local community college until I know what I want, or if I should go away to a university. Can you give me some advice?

A: You know that the first part of our answer is going to be that you have “freedom of choice” to do what you feel is best for you, but we have to say that. That said, we have some ideas to share with you.

In either environment you will be able to sample all the possibilities. So let’s see the major differences. You are a “people person” and thrive in an environment where you can really get to know your classmates. At community college most of the students are going part time to be able to move up from some nonproductive job that they are currently in. They do not stick around and get to know their classmates. In university, where the majority of the students live in, you spend 24 hours a day with them and truly get to know them both in academic and social situations.

Your family is very close-knit and they are going through a transformation right now. If you remain at home your attention will be on the family’s energy instead of your own evolution. You have not had an opportunity to be completely responsible for your own every move, but that would come in an area where you are away from home the majority of the time.

If you sense that it is important to “be there” for your family, community college would provide that opportunity. They would benefit from your input but do not necessarily need it. Staying near home would provide a slower, gentler transition to independence.

We trust that the forgoing discussion will give you some idea about possible paths. Remember, neither is right or wrong. You must choose what feels the most comfortable for you, and you alone.