De Anza: Better than I expected

Elizabeth Cardenas, News Editor

De Anza proved to me that attending community college is not as bad I was convinced it would be.

I attended Presentation High School, an all-girls, Catholic, private high school.

The curriculum was extremely rigorous and extracurricular activities were absolutely necessary.  Together, the two were unbelievably life consuming, but were guaranteed to get me into a four-year university.

There was not an option to attend community college. I thought attending a community college meant fellow classmates would look down upon me and I would be considered a disappointment.

I graduated high school and proceeded to attend the University of Oregon.

I had the time of my life freshman year, from football games to fraternity parties.  I loved everything about the University of Oregon… except the classes.

Every class was packed with 250 to 500 students. All of the homework was online. And worst of all, the teachers did not know I existed.

I did terrible academically my freshman year.

I did not return to the University of Oregon because it proved to be a place where I wouldn’t academically succeed. Instead, I enrolled at De Anza College.

While enrolling I thought I had reached my all-time low, that life could not get much worse than attending a community college.

The thoughts about community college from high school haunted me.

But I began to realize that stigma of community college troubled the minds of many incoming students.

A majority of the high schools that surround De Anza College are extremely competitive and are very high-ranking.

It’s not just me who feared the embarrassment of attending a community college, it was also other students who had the same stigma instilled in their minds from their high schools.

Until the first day of classes, I was not able to understand how inaccurate the stigmas surrounding community college were.

The first day of classes, I walked into a classroom of 30 students and for the first time since high school, I heard a teacher call my name.

I realized I actually mattered as a student to the teachers and the community.

The warm and welcoming community has made me feel at home.

I have been so much more successful in the classroom at De Anza College than I ever was at the University of Oregon.

Beyond the classroom I have been provided with opportunities that have turned into loves of mine, such as writing and editing for the newspaper.

If I had not attended De Anza College I would not know I had a passion for this extracurricular.

The community goes above and beyond to offer opportunities and provide a place for everyone on campus, no matter your passions and desires.

Next year I look forward to joining more activities and taking advantage of more opportunities on campus.

De Anza College is an extraordinary place filled with diverse and loving students, staff and faculty and not a day goes that I don’t forget how grateful I am to belong to the community and for giving me the opportunities to show what I am capable of achieving as a student.

Everything I was told and everything I learned about community college in high school was wrong and all my old fears no longer exist.