The ACC Advantage

Sarah Nation

     It’s time for college choices, dorm deposits, new comforters, and most importantly, “Longhorn Mom” bumper stickers. But what about me? What happens to the proverbial “I don’t know what I want to do” kid who gets stuck in the middle? I’m smart, I make good grades, I’m a fairly well-rounded person, and I got accepted into comparable colleges just like everyone else (i.e.  Lucia Tang). I just don’t see the point in paying big money to attend a university in which I will be taking basic classes working towards a degree that I don’t even want.

     Meet Austin Community College: the perfect solution to a confused soul like myself. Contrary to the misconception that students not attending a four-year college after graduating high school are lazy, will make less money and will inevitably be unhappy the rest of their lives, there are very worthy opportunities outside of major universities. ACC, just like any other college, is a prestigious place to be educated if you utilize it correctly. When I say utilize, I don’t mean plan out a four-year degree in a manner so that your education doesn’t get in the way of your post-high school partying.  I mean, take advantage of ACC’s resources so that they benefit you, your education and your future. Whether you plan to save some money for a year and then transfer to a university, take some classes that are actually in your field of interest, or earn your full degree, with more than 180 programs, ACC has options for everyone.

     If you’re concerned about money, here’s a quick comparison: For one semester at a typical public university, it’s about $16,000. This includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. For one semester at a typical community college, assuming one would take the standard 15 hours, it’s about $800, not including housing fees. Not to mention almost every first year college student is taking the basic core classes anyway. So again, whether you’re planning to get your associates or transfer after your first year, ACC is a perfect solution to the “undecided disease.”

     As American poet Robert Frost so eloquently put it,

     “I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

      For those who are committed to a university and are eager to start school come fall 2009, congratulations. But for those of you who find yourself in a similar predicament as me, don’t be scared. There is a road for everyone, even if it isn’t beaten and paved. Sometimes you just jump, take chances on gut feelings and hope for the best. I think we forget sometimes how young we are, and how much time we really have to figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Whether we attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology and get a PhD in astrophysics or travel the world as a volunteer for AIDs prevention, we must remember to embrace the changes, enjoy the experiences and savor the relationships we make along the way. As for me, I will be taking the road less traveled, hoping it will make all the difference.