Maybe you went to college, but this is not technically college

I am currently attending a trade school to earn an Associate’s Degree. After many years of applying to and backing out of traditional colleges (social anxiety, stinks) I’m doin it, and doin it and doin it well (Thanks L.L. Cool J.).

photo by Lidyanne Aquino (lethaargic)
photo by Lidyanne Aquino (lethaargic)

Something has been irking me. It’s not a huge thing. However thus far for my handful of classes I’ve only had two instructors. Both have, at times, referred to our attendance as being that of attending college. Ex. “So while you’re in college”. REALLY? REALLY? This is not college, ladies. It’s not even close to college. (To be fair I do believe that they attended actual colleges and make frequent mention of their children who do the same. I do not think this is done in a condescending way.)

It’s learning, it’s an approved learning institute. I appreciate it. It works. It seems much better for someone such as myself than a traditional college (including a community college). It also seems like a great place to start out if you need to earn a longer degree and can transfer your credits later.

THIS IS NOT COLLEGE THOUGH. College is (often) an option of the following: dorms, groups (not just Greek but various clubs), activities to bring the students closer together and well so many other things that I can’t quite recall at this moment.

College is also (often) a huge sprawling (possibly, especially for me, difficult to navigate campus). An abundance of young people who are up for anything (which is awesome, I get that) but who also have no idea how to do many things and will spend an inordinate amount of time on “worries” like laundry and not knowing how to feed themselves properly. As my older sister so in-eloquently put it years back, “If you wait another year to go to college you will be a non traditional student”, like she was.

Wow, that scared the fuck out of me. I could have stuck out like a sore thumb or overly compensated by partying and not getting my work done.

PLUSES: My school (the buildings) are relatively small. I now know where to find most things. There aren’t too many students milling about, most of the time. I am in small classes and am able to get one on one time with teachers without difficulty. I am learning information that is very useful for my major (if I can call it that, since this is not college).

So yeah, it’s trade school, or tech school or business school, or what have you. This is not college. And that’s okay.

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