As I walked onto my junior college campus for the first time looking like a lost puppy, wide-eyed and all of 160 pounds soaking wet, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Little did I know that my leap of faith would turn out to be the best decision I would ever make. For athletes and non-athletes alike, here are four reasons why:
1. Degree at a discount
In California, junior colleges generally cost under $1,000 for the whole year. Yes, you heard that right. Being able to go to college for two years for almost nothing allows you to get all of your general education courses out of the way without having to fork over the cash like you normally would at a University. I was able to get my AA degree and over 60 units out of the way before I even stepped foot onto my four-year school - talk about a discount.
2. Major postponement
If you're like I was, then you probably tend to be indecisive when it comes to making decisions about your future, specifically occupationally. If you were to ask me what subject I wanted to major in out of high school I would've had no clue. Going to a junior college allows you to take advanced classes while not having to commit to what you want to study for the next half decade.
3. Free development
Now the fun stuff. On the baseball field, I simply wasn't good enough to go to a University out of high school. I was weak, scrawny, and raw in every facet of the game. To put it frankly, I was behind. Going to junior college allowed me to put on nearly 20 pounds of muscle while honing in my swing and bettering my defensive skills at third base. Without these two crucial years, my baseball career most certainly would've ended about seven years sooner than it did, and I never would have created this blog.
What the Universities don't tell you is that when they recruit you out of high school, they have no real plans for you. You're nothing but a prospect - a potential talent that could pan out in a couple years after you've sat on the bench and watched the Senior shortstop play everyday. After basically taking two years off of facing actual competition, you're expected to produce the same type of numbers as the guy who preceded you. If you don't, then they'll move on to the next guy.
When you get recruited out of junior college, they're looking for a dude - someone who knows the game and can help them win immediately. Because you're two years more developed than when you were a senior in high school, you also have better schools looking at you. When you sign, you aren't a project. You are the person the school relies on to play in front of the young kids just out of high school hoping to one day turn into a stud like you.
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