During my first two years of college, I attended Lake-Sumter State College, a local “state” college in Florida with campuses in three locations – Leesburg, Clermont, and Sumterville. This college is primarily known for its low costs for students who wish to stay local and complete their first two years of credits. With the development of its first bachelor’s program a few years ago, this community college became a state college, but most still think of it as a community college. I discovered that community college can be a rewarding experience both in and outside the classroom if you take the time to explore what’s out there.
I found a variety of helpful resources in the people and places at this community college/state college.
- The professors and the dedication they had for their subjects. I attended many office hours to review material, which was especially helpful for my science courses in anatomy and physiology! Those courses were not easy, but having a teacher who knew how to teach difficult material in a simplistic manner made an incredible difference. My favorite instructor out of all of my teachers from LSSC was Dr. Urquhart. She told stories about how psychology related to life and engaged students in the conversation. Although her class was challenging, I found it to be a wonderful experience.
- The librarians. They were extremely devoted to helping students with their essays, and they were especially known for their skills in formatting papers!
- The Learning Center (LC) scheduled specific professors and students to help others with their class assignments. I went to the LC for almost every English paper I had.
- The Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Career Services Center offered sessions with a local provider at no cost. I used the Career Center to find resources that helped me make my decision for my major.
- Extracurricular activities made my college experience at LSSC more rewarding too, including volunteer and study abroad opportunities. I volunteered to help a local non-profit sponsor a prom event for high school girls.
- Campus facilities. My favorite spot on the main campus was the nature trail. Most students didn’t even know that the campus has one! I loved to be able to retreat to the trail and be alone in nature. The walk helped me clear my head and just enjoy the outdoors.
For students who choose to get involved and work hard, there are many opportunities for success at community colleges like Lake Sumter. If students are willing to make an effort, they are more likely to get much more out of the experience.