Why CCA Was The Perfect Fit for Me

Students throwing their caps in their air

In a few days, I will be the first person in my family to hold a college degree. While my time at the Community College of Aurora may be finished, I feel like my academic journey is just beginning.

I think about where I will be next year, as I begin my final year of undergraduate studies, and I wonder what I will be doing. I think about the year afterwards, when I will be able to truly call myself an anthropologist, and I think about the kind of work I might find. As I think of the journey ahead of me, my thoughts turn to where I have been.

I chose the Community College of Aurora for a silly reason. It was equidistant from my home with Arapahoe Community College, but I could take the interstate to CCA. I laugh now, that such a small thing shaped so much of my life.

Choosing CCA has utterly changed me.

I chose an academic discipline – Anthropology. In my studies of Anthropology, I have examined culture and social norms, and had my eyes opened to how different we all are, yet how those differences, oddly, unite us. We have them in common. I have observed directly and literally that underneath those differences, we all have the same bones.

I believe that to be reasonable, everyone’s point of view has to be considered. It is as close to a core philosophy as anything gets for me. At the Community College of Aurora, I found a place where I could see everyone’s points of view being considered.

Walking into the Student Centre Building, I always look up at the flags of dozens of nations suspended in the air across the hallway. It fills me with a certain awe to know that the school has students from so many of them.

I have had great opportunities at this school. I have represented CCA at the National Model United Nations three times now, and have emerged a changed person because of it. My journey has seen me teach other students in a capacity as a tutor, guiding me toward what is likely an inevitable career as an educator. I have met diplomats from all over the world, and worked through some actual, oft-difficult processes of diplomacy.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself in these past three years, as well. I have acknowledged, confronted, and struggled with a newly-diagnosed bipolar disorder at every crossroads these past three years. Usually, I overcame those challenges. Some days, I did not. But a constant for me was that at CCA, I had a place of self-discovery, a sort of home I could claim for myself. I will never forget my time here.

Whatever the future brings, I will face it a stronger, better person than when I started on this road nearly three years ago. And all thanks for that go to the professors, advisors, administrators, and students who make CCA a great place to continue their education.

About the Author

Justin Taylor is a fifth-semester CCA student studying anthropology and political science. He hopes to graduate CCA in spring 2017 and participates in TRiO.