Community College Help

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    i just got back from seminary, and unfortunately i need to go to community college? does anyone have any tips on how to stay strong is such a negative environment? i know myself as a girl that becomes stronger when faced with the negativity, but i dont know til which limit! any tips please! thank you very much!


    Striving has very good suggestions – just one more:

    Keep your priorities straight. I’ve gotten very carried away with my secular studies before. Keep learning Limudei Kodesh while you’re in college.


    Having been in similar situations before, a few pointers I would like to share with you.

    a) Be careful which teachers you have. Many times there are a few choices for the class. Speak to people who have been at that exact school before. Some teachers will be more lenient when it comes to yom tov, others will give you no slack. Some will pick on you as the “Jew”, some will try to bring up controversial topics (according to the frum world they are, but many goyim see it as normal), and some will swear ect. But there are always decent teachers who will allow you to take make up tests, labs or presentations. Some will be polite, decent and use proper English. I have had both.

    b)Look carefully at the courses you will be taking. Dont take any religious classes. Even if they say “Hebrew” in the course outline. Philosophy and anthropology should also be crossed off your list. Darwinism is seen as “set in stone as fact”.

    c)Prepare yourself mentally to answer people’s questions. There are those who are curious because you are different and then there are those who are Frei/searching and desperately need your help. Why do you wear long skirts and sleeves in the summer? Why a Yalmukah/tzizis? (for all the guys reading this post. you said you went to seminary so I assume you are a girl). Are you amish? (I was asked this once…along with “what church group are you a part of?) Do you believe in Yushka? Heaven? Gehenom? (they will use the secular terms).

    d)Be prepared at their language and dress. Ignore it and DONT CHANGE YOURS. Jews in mitzrayim didnt change their names, dress or language. Continue speaking as you do now, dressing as a good seminary girl. Wear a long sleeved blouse and people look at you differently. Dress nicely and with a certain self-respect and people treat you differently. (in a good way there).

    e) make a border around yourself. Dont allow people to be too friendly with you, especially those of the opposite gender. Dont be on a nickname basis with them. Dont hang out with them. Homework help in the library is one thing, but sit across the table if you are uncomfortable with them and be in the open/in clear site of other people.

    f) write yourself a letter now, before the semester starts. Ask yourself who you are, what you stand for, and what are your sensitivities. Read the letter to yourself often, its your Igeres Haramban in a way, to keep you on track.

    If you have a specific issue or question that you need help with, just post it and I’ll try to help. I have been there and know what you face.


    thatbkis so much for replying striving. sounds like good info…. so fortunatley im taking mostly online classes and im not going in to campus many times a week. anyways, its makes it even harder for me that most of my friends are going back to seminary for shan bet and im stuck at community college. im very happy for them but i wish i can have that oppurtunity too. but its too expensive for me now. so how can i not give up my standards in college?



    to have some seichel: wat did u answer the people that asked u questions like that?



    I explained that I was Orthodox Jewish. I wear these particular clothes for religious reasons. Long skirts and sleeves are for modesty reasons. We dont shake hands with people of the opposite gender, no it isnt because we dont touch non-jews. (someone i know told me the story that they were offended because they thought that jews dont touch nonjews. explain that its only people of the opposite gender, even Jewish ones, if they arent close family.) Yes, Jews believe in Heaven and Gehenom but in a different way than Xians do. We say its more of a spiritual reward, not gold. We dont believe that yushka (use his real name when talking to goyim) was the messiah…that one was sticky and you should ask a mentor for tips. I would like to know what your mentor has to say about it. I was lucky- it was brought up in class and the teacher changed subjects after I said that I dont believe he was the messiah. whew!

    Be careful not to get caught up talking to missionaries or bible students…. they come in many shapes and sizes and should not be talked to. They will try to trick you into saying something you dont believe in or to sign up for something- explain that you have to rush to your next class, sorry.

    Remember to use the English translations for words. Bible, not Tanach. Modesty, not tzniyus. If you are stuck, and need a second or two to think, explain that you learned many of your classes in a foreign language and need a moment to remember the proper translations. Dont use it too much but it has helped me in a tight situation.

    Uh- if you are taking mostly online classes, then you dont have to worry about these things all that much. I wasnt able to take the online option but at least I was able to combat the problems! B”H!



    Dear westcoast,

    (sigh)…this topic gives me the chills every time i hear it….

    it’s SO scary what could happen, and not just to someone going to cc. People who work in certain environments, stay in certain places ect.

    Speaking from personal experience and from observing… When entering a place in which you are not surrounded by Frum Yidden, one can NEVER be too careful. As much as you put up your guards, you see things- unintentionally, you hear things- unintentionally, and slowly, slowly your fences (and defenses) get lowered.

    “No!”, some of you might be saying, “It didn’t happen to me!”

    but someone comes dressed one day in a way that makes you cringe. Or says soem words that makes your ears burn. The first time you are shocked! and it’s great that you are shocked. But what happens when you hear/ see it the next time? and the next? and the next?

    “Hergel Naaseh Tevah”


    your senses become dulled.

    For sure 100% there are things you can do to make senses still be shocked each time like the first, like as suggested above.

    And it help tremendously to be on campus as little as possible.

    and to Daven… for Mashiach…

    I’m not trying to do anything besided tell you that YOU MUST BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL, and just as one goes into any situation fully prepared before hand, even more so here.




    Having been in the situation for a few semesters after coming back from a really yeshivish-type bais yaakov seminary, I really feel for you.

    You will be in for many challenges. One of the most important things I did for myself was set gedarim with a Rebbetzin that I felt understood the situation. She would ask me on a fairly regular basis if I felt I was still holding by my gedarim.

    Some of these gedarim were to stay out of social areas like cafeterias and common rooms (even Hillel common rooms!). If I needed to eat or take a break, I went into the cafeteria to buy food and ate it in the areas in the library where one is able to eat… Or I ate it outside on campus… I spent an awful lot of time with headphones in my ears even if there was no music on… People get the impression that you do not wish to socialize when you have a cell phone on, bluetooth on, headphones on, or a book opened… or any combination of them…

    Find yourself a Rav who knows a lot about college courses and college situations so that you know you have someone to ask before the questions come up. It is very stressful to be in a situation without someone to ask.

    Let me know if I can help you with anything…


    If its a community college, then you will still be sleeping at home, no?

    Then one simple piece of advice. Spend as little time as possible on campus. Study, eat etc. at home or if need be in your car. There is no need to “hang out” on campus, do what you need to do (perhaps holding your nose, fig.) and leave.

    Good luck


    anonymouslysecret- those are really great ideas, i wish I though of some of those.

    An interesting point to ponder- what if you have a group project or something of that nature to work on? I used to make myself seem very unsocial and not give out private info like phone numbers. I would explain that I am not available much after school hours,ESPECIALLY NOT ON WEEKENDS, so can we work right after class? any hints…anyone?


    havesomeseichel, I used to only do group projects if it was absolutely necessary. If they were, I would make sure to only meet during regular school hours and only in the library… and I would never sit with food or anything other than my schoolwork… People used to think I was an extreme workaholic! Also, depending on the class and professor, I would sometimes ask to be put with females only or to be able to choose my groupmates. In the beginning of the semester, I would scan the classroom and try to find a real ‘college nerd’ type of student who was female… There generally tends to be small groups of different types of students that sit near each other. I always try to sit in the front corner with the really serious students. I would never really socialize with any classmate, of course… but once you sit among these types of people… People tend to assume you will do group projects with each other… and then you will most likely not have too many problems…


    what are some classes that i definatley should take with a friend? is it ok to take science classes my myself or is it too risky being that there is a lab?

    i like the ipod idea…i just need to get an ipod…

    also, does anyone have ideas of good websites to buy textbooks for cheap? thanx!


    They show all books for sale from all different websites, including Amazon,, and more.


    westcoast; You don’t even need an ipod… ;)All you need is a set of earphones. Just put the ends into your pocket… As long as it looks like you are listening to music… That’s all that matters.


    just me

    Westcoast, while you don’t want to get into religious discussions, if a not-frum Jew asks a serious question, it can be an opportunity to do some kiruv. If you don’t know an answer, Aish HaTorah recomends: Great question! I don’t know that answer but I can find out.

    Your ruchnius is the main concern, but be aware that you are probably being watched so make sure to carry yourself in a way that will make a kidush Hashem.

    #659950,, or you can google textbook sites and see what you find. Compare prices and make sure to check the feedback and the seller’s rating. I had it once where the book never came (money refunded)…annoying to have to buy it twice, late in the semester.

    It depends on the class. Public speaking-you have to speak in front of everyone so taking with a friend might not help. Something like economics or math you can take on your own because, well, they are single-person classes. No real group projects or assignments. I guess it depends on the science teacher. Most science classes I would try to take with a friend- labs, reports, projects… it all depends on the teacher.

    I would avoid some political or history classes (try online). That way you dont have to deal with teachers’ biases- anti-israel which mean anti-jewish according to them…


    oh taking a science class by myself…hope she doesnt make projects..

    also, do u think theres a differnece between going to public school and to a community college? i told someone i was going there and she was all shocked and said “its like ur going to public school!!!” what do u think? thanx!


    I heard that too when I told people that I was going to a secular college. I definitely hear where they are coming from, but I do not agree with them completely. It is a public school in the sense that it is a school that is open to the public… meaning, you will get a multitude of different people and the administration is not necessarily frum…

    The difference lies in the fact that the students in a secular college are of an age where they are able to make their own decisions. As a college student, you choose the classes you attend, and generally treated as an adult. In a public school, the students are minors and do not have the option of choosing classes and are not able to make their own decisions…

    I am working with teenagers that are struggling with decisions on whether or not to attend yeshiva for high school… and I am very clear when I tell them… the nisyonos of a public school are k’mat impossible to pass on your own… The taivos and peer pressure are very real… I would not say it to the same degree about college… The nisyonos are there, but you are at a different stage in life and so are the rest of the students…



    There is a large difference between public school and community college. In public school, children are subject to many teachers who they cannot choose, who they cannot communicate as easily with as frum teachers, who can teach about religion (even though they cannot legally… there are ways to hide it. What I did for the holidays type essay during december.)… children are much more vulnerable than college students. College-age students should be able to block out teachers thoughts and not be so vulnerable. We have the choice in college to take specific classes and teachers. There is more peer pressure in public school because you are with the same kids for 8 hours a day 5 days a week, while in college there are different people in every class…it is very different, but hatzlacha anyways.


    Be a neb. It’ll help you not fit it. Never worry about how frum you look.


    hiding- you need to realize that what we call nebs might be normal for some…


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