Lessons Learned: Embracing your community


Regarding the College being closed – I’m a “mature” student, but a very serious one. I love, love, love school! (And, I used to hate, hate, hate school.) Community colleges, especially TCC, are havens of order and offer hope in the lives of so many people who exist in chaos and despair.

Online school works well for a recovery-type, older student like me, who has been at it for long enough for hope to harden into confidence, or for someone transitioning careers, who has a lot of family support and self-discipline. But many new or struggling students need the safety and positive energy of a classroom and campus setting. They need the warm (or cold) smiles and air of productivity of their professors—someone to look in their eyes and tell them they are capable, that if they make good choices, they can change and grow, and set and accomplish goals.

The community-nourishing effect of a community college campus on the foundation and root layers of our society cannot be overstated. There must remain a place to go for a person who is ready to find a new way, whether their flower blooms at 18 or 60. In this way, institutions of higher learning stand as a bulwark against social degradation, because despair is the most infectious disease of all.

So, if you have a student of any age in your life, the support you give them now to help them get through this difficult online period — to keep them focused, enrolled and moving through their metamorphosis — will be repaid a thousand-fold in the form of all the lives they will affect.