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May 12, 2017

‘JCCC is a college to get excited about’

In this profile,  Kendra Wendte, JCCC student, reflects on her decision to attend Johnson County Community College for her first two years of college. Spoiler alert: She thought it was great.

I’m going to be honest. When I decided to come to Johnson County Community College, I was not excited. My friends were going to larger universities where they could join sororities or discover what dorm life was all about. I, however, got to room with my parents for two more years while attending school. Sounds lame, I know.

Before I go any further, let me tell you why I decided to come to JCCC. After seriously freaking out over winter break of my senior year, I decided there was no way I could attend a four-year college. I had a 4.0 GPA, got a pretty good score on my ACT and was very involved. Apparently, that really isn’t enough to receive scholarships from schools, though.

Frustrated with life and all it didn’t have to offer, I decided that taking my first two years of college at JCCC could save me money. It also would give me more time to figure out what I wanted to do.

Working on campus

In February of my last semester of high school, I met with two JCCC recruiters. They were impressed with me and suggested that I apply for the student admissions ambassador position. I had a job at a daycare, but controlling a tribe of 2-year-olds every day had its downsides. I decided to apply for the job, and I got it.

As a first-semester college student, I had to show prospective students around and tell them how great JCCC was. I was inexperienced and overwhelmed. However, this forced me to learn more and even get involved.

As time went on, I realized that going to JCCC wasn’t as bad as I originally thought. I discovered online classes, which are truly great as long as you aren’t a procrastinator. Through one of my online classes, I figured out what I wanted to major in – advertising.

I never knew about the opportunities that one could have at a community college. I thought all you did was fight for a parking spot, take your classes and go home. Sure, that is what some people do, but if you want to make your community college experience worthwhile, it is up to you to do so.

Making memories

I wanted to share my JCCC experience because JCCC is a college to get excited about. It is a place where community is defined and memories are made. It isn’t a "13th grade" or just a place to run into old high school classmates (even though you’ve been trying to avoid doing so).

Obviously, you don’t have to take my word for it that JCCC is great. You could find out for yourself, but it isn’t realistic that every person I come across will become a Cavalier. No, we don’t have dorms (although I have never had a desire to live in one). No, we don’t have Greek life or a football team.

We do have free parking, though, so that’s something to highlight. We have diverse students and amazing facilities filled with advanced technology, and even a Chick-fil-A in the food court. We have a large variety of clubs and resource centers that surpass any expectations, and there is a Starbucks vending machine.

Looking with fresh eyes

What I am trying to say is, if you have the same mindset I had when I first started here, get rid of those thoughts and look at JCCC with fresh eyes. There are opportunities you never thought imaginable.

As I end my time here, I am going to miss so many aspects of JCCC. Of course, the cost per credit hour is near the top of that list, but I am also going to miss the relationships I have built with those I have worked with and the professors who have helped me reach my potential.

As I continue on in my higher education journey, I will take with me the knowledge I have gained, the experience from my job and internship, and thousands of dollars that I have saved.

Wendte served as the JCCC marketing intern for Spring 2017. She plans to transfer to Kansas State University and pursue a degree in advertising.