As you begin to set up a study plan for yourself, begin by honestly appraising your mindset about being in college.  What are your expectations, beliefs and biases?  What motivates you and excites your interest?  How was the decision that you would attend college reached?  Do you feel inside that you really don’t want to be here?  Do you have a realistic sense of how much work you will need to do to complete your educational goals?  Do you have the necessary study skills?  If not, are you willing to change your study habits?


How do you feel about attending a community college instead of a four year university?  Why have you chosen this educational setting?  Usually this question can be answered in one or a combination of the following:


  1. I didn’t do very well in high school.  I realized only too late that a college education is going to be necessary if I expect to make a living.


My Comment:  Well, this is your chance.  But you do have to realize that there are reasons you did not perform well in high school.  You will need to figure out what those reasons are and correct them. But make no mistake, you CAN correct them.  You can use SCCC to “catch up.”  You have two years or so to accomplish this.  Then you can go to almost any four year college you choose (depending on your grades!).


  1. Neither my family nor I have enough money to pay for a private college right now.


My Comment:  This is a common reason for students and their parents to select SCCC. Remember that getting an education is largely a matter of getting back what you invest in time, energy and intellectual curiosity.  The quality of the education you receive anywhere depends more on you than it does on the college.  So, welcome aboard. SCCC provides the location and the tools to accomplish your academic goals.  It was my experience at SCCC that the faculty were unusually devoted to us as students – and I have had others tell me their experiences are the same now.


  1. I work in the family business, and my family needs me at home to help out rather than far away.


My Comment: This is a good reason to stick close to home to get your education.  You can accomplish your education at SCCC by attending less than full time if necessary.  Generally, students in this kind of situation display a bit more maturity than their cohorts.  They also often bring a rich life experience with them to the classroom.


  1. I have a full time job and a family to support, but I need an education to get ahead so that I can help pay for my kids’ education and have a better retirement down the road.


My Comment:  Many students at SCCC are older and have enough life experience to realize that an education is absolutely necessary in order to compete in the  current job market, which requires more specialized skills and education with each passing decade.  Virtually all of my older students over the years have told me that they wish they had pursued an education when they were young and had few responsibilities.  This is something to think about if you are just out of high school


  1. I am a single parent working a dead end job and I need an education in order to get ahead in life.


My Comment:  This is another situation I have encountered many times in my three decades of teaching. Single parents have a

particularly tough time earning their education because they are the sole support of their families and because they often do not have a

partner at home who is supportive and helpful with their academic goals, child care, and housekeeping.


  1. I was a student at a four year college, where I resided away from home. Unfortunately I flunked out.  Now I am attending SCCC to try to start my academic career over.


My Comment:  Sometimes even students who have a good academic record in high school get lost in partying or just a disorganized way of living when they go away to school and find themselves suddenly free from their parents’ controls.  Some suffer from extreme homesickness and depression, and can’t function.  Again, SCCC may be your version of a “second chance.”  If you really think of it this way you can avoid the trap of thinking of yourself as a failure. You CAN turn things around.


  1. I am only going to college because my parents are making me go.  They never get off my back about the fact that I’ll never get anywhere in life without an education.  I think this is baloney – I have lots of friends who are doing just fine without a college education.


      My Comment:  Please, please, PLEASE take the time to think this through.  This is one of the most negative attitudes to carry with you

      into the world of higher education.  Furthermore, it may be either postponing a huge family confrontation or be the continuance of one

      which has been ongoing for some time.  If you can honestly give it a try in spite of your disagreement with your parents, things may work

      out for the best.  But if you make college nothing more than an extension of a long, bitter struggle with your parents, not only are you likely

      to fail, you may acquire a permanent aversion to college and academic pursuits – one that may eventually morph into unpleasant issues

      that you will face in raising your own children.