Students attend a lecture at their local college // velr0 (flickr.com)

By: Jelson Montero, Sports Editor

Bergen Community College draws in students from many communities, such as Paterson, Wayne, Passaic, Paramus, etc. With such a variety of diverse students, it’s fascinating to see how students think about BCC, and how their environment has impacted how they view community college.

Aryed Garcia, who is entering his third semester at BCC said, “BCC is a place that I was excited to attend. I know most people don’t like settling for a community college, but for me this is a great place to be in.”

Garcia, who is from Paterson, admits that growing up in his community definitely made an impact on the way he viewed BCC.

“I can’t speak for others, but I know for me, growing up in Paterson affects how I view community college as a whole. Paterson is not the safest place to grow up in, and most of my friends don’t even attend college because they see it as an impossible dream. For me being enrolled in Bergen is huge.”

School can also affect how a student views community college.  Some schools have a higher graduation rate than others and encourage their students to shoot for the moon while other schools might just focus on graduating their students.

Yohanly Ortiz, who is also entering his third semester at BCC said, “ My school impacted how I view BCC. Seeing all of my friends go to big universities and having teachers encouraging me to try and get into a university, made me think community college was like a backup plan.”

Ortiz attended Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne. Ortiz said, “ I’m happy where I am. I love attending BCC, but if it were up to my friends and teachers, I definitely wouldn’t be here. It’s almost like good schools never mention community college as a first option.”

Although both students speak for themselves and not for their entire community, it’s easy to see how a person’s community, school, and friends, can impact the way they view community college.

BCC is filled with students from different backgrounds, and each student holds their own view of community college. It’s a topic that has many layers.