I Cried the Day I Left Community College

8:27 PM

I walked the halls that I had walked up and down over the past three years thinking about what an adventure my college experience has been. After I moved out of my parents' house this place became my new home. Every morning before class I would walk to every professor's office smile, and say "good morning". Even the professors that had never taught me ended up knowing me on a middle name basis. They would ask about my studies, my family, my life. When I walked the halls, the office staff, professors, and even the dean knew who I was. These people had become my family. I told my friends from other schools about my experience at my college and they looked at me in disbelief. They were amazed that I had built such close relationships with the faculty. Today as I sat in my classrooms one last time, and breathed in every last ounce of this season, I realized how privileged I have been to be a student of a community college.

I went to the school office today to tell the faculty goodbye, some of which I've only talked to in passing. With tears in their eyes, each of them hugged me and told me how proud they were, and gave me words of encouragement about walking into my next season. I never knew how far a smile and "good morning" could go. 

I cried the day I left community college because that's exactly what my school is, a community. A community that has shaped me, taught me, encouraged me, and pushed me to be my very best. A community that saw me for more than just a number or a body in a classroom. A community of people that are obsessed with helping me, and others like me, pursue my dreams no matter what that takes. 

Even if you don't go to community college, or any college at all, build relationships! It doesn't take much. Be kind, listen, and serve. I've learned that friends aren't always peers. Some of the greatest relationships are built with people from completely different walks of life than you.

Even though this season is over I will always represent my school, I will always be an advocate for community college education, and I will never forget where I came from.

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