AACC students: Focus, plan for 4-year schools


Britney Pieraldi

Former Campus Current Associate Editor Brad Dress, who is now at the University of Maryland, College Park, gives his advice about what to expect at a four-year school.

Amber Nathan, Advertising Manager

AACC graduates who will head to four-year schools in the fall should take chances, stay focused and learn their surroundings.

That’s the advice of a group of former Campus Current editors who have transferred within the past two years.

“Four-year is a lot bigger, but I wouldn’t say it’s any scarier than going to a community college,” said Britney Pieraldi, a former Campus Current graphic designer who attends the University of Maryland, College Park. “I think the professors are really great and they’re very supportive and help you through.”

But former Campus Current Editor-in-Chief Jesse Johnson said the transition from AACC to the University of Maryland, College Park took some time to be comfortable with it.

“You’re just a small fish in a … large pond,” Johnson said. “I wish I had known just how much I was going to miss community college.”

Johnson said the four-year college campus and atmosphere makes him “push more than [I] had been. You’re kind of going from closer to home to being out of your comfort zone,” he said.

Former Associate Editor Brad Dress said he enjoys the challenges he has faced at UMCP and is motivated by his classmates and the colleagues he works with at The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

“A lot of kids are more focused on doing their work and studying. It makes me want to do my homework and study more,” Dress said.

Pieraldi advised students to get to know their new campuses over the summer by “studying the school, maybe taking campus tours, visiting the school … just getting familiar with it.”

Johnson encouraged students to be brave in how they approach the new culture and community at four-year schools.

“Embrace the unexpected,” Johnson said. “Embrace the challenges that you’re going to be facing, embrace the new people that you’re going to meet. Embrace the atmosphere that you’re going to be in, because it’s setting you up to be a better person than you were before.”