Going to a 4-year University in America is a promising and predominantly an unforgettable experience that one can have.
In the USA, there are two major types of Universities: there are 2-year colleges (also referred to as Community Colleges) and the 4-year universities like James Madison University.
Some people prefer to start with community college. One of the reasons for that is because community college is way cheaper than university. The typical path for them is to start with community college for the first 2 years, taking some General education requirements and then transfer to a 4-year University and take their major courses. JMU made that path possible because it accepts credits from many community colleges especially the ones in Virginia. The good thing about JMU is that there are community colleges not too far from campus so one can be taking classes at JMU and also take classes in community colleges in the vicinity at the same time. That’s one good way to save money. In the US, it can be really easy to save money, you just have to know the system and look for the information.
However, attending a 4-year University since the beginning, I think would be good for several reasons:
- after a 2 years community college, we have to transfer to a 4 years University anyway.
- by being in a place for a longer time we get more familiar with the environment, with the people and we also learn more about that university’s system. It is harder to make yourself a name by building a good academic record and a social “crew” when you are new somewhere, but if you are there since the beginning that for sure makes it easier.
Talking about 4 years University, at JMU a week ago we just had a graduation ceremony. Saying good bye to people I met since freshman year was a little hard but that was a wakeup call for me. That wakeup call was to take advantage of every single moment while I’m here at University because after all, these 4 years pass by really fast. These four years may not be the longest in our lives but they certainly can be the most memorable four years of our lives. I’m saying that because I am one year away from graduation and I feel sad already about it.
We have to use these 4 years very wisely and make it become if not the best four years of our life, the most profitable for our future. I’ve known people who used these 4 years to improve themselves or to make friends and party or to figure themselves out or to get ready for a longer path of study just like myself and my goals of going to medical school.
One thing is sure, when we become degree holders, we are not the same person who first walked in the gates of the University with a thirst to discover to learn and to adventure. I have learned so much and grown in so many ways – LIFE, here I come!