Last December, I walked the stage of Lyman Center to officially become an alumna of Southern Connecticut State University. After four and a half years, it was a victorious moment as many of you can imagine.

As many students across the world head back to school this fall, this is the first September I will not be buying school supplies, new clothes, or textbooks. However, as relieved as I am not to have to worry about the stresses of a full class load and work, my owl pride still remains.

Going to Southern was singlehandedly the best decision of my life. I was able to thrive in the school newspaper, worked at both the accounts payable office and at Buley Library, and developed a set of friends who I remain in touch with long after graduation. I was in an honor society. My classes were very challenging, and I had the opportunity to receive an education that consisted of both the arts and sciences. Thanks to the skills I developed from my courses, I got a full-time job offer in my field a week before graduation.

Not bad, huh?

It bothers me to no end when someone says “oh, you only went to a state school — it’s definitely not the same as my highly regarded *insert university name here*.” By going to a state school, I’m not in neck deep in student loans (it also doesn’t hurt to mention I also commuted to campus). And, I still got the same kind of education my friends did at a private school.

How about them apples?

With that being said, let’s end the stereotype students at state schools are lazy or couldn’t get in anywhere else. That isn’t true. Many of my peers on campus often were the hardest working people I know — they took a full course load, worked multiple jobs and held internships. And those people still managed to make Dean’s List every semester.

Lazy, huh? I don’t think so.

At the end of the day, our four state schools — Southern, Central, Eastern and Western — are just as good as any old private school. And what makes them even better is that they don’t have the private school price tag.

What do you think? Comment below