I wanted to go to a community college with a relatively positive reputation since I decided not to go to a four year University right off the bat. I've attended one semester so far and I'm enrolled as a degree-seeking student, so I'll be there for a while longer. I think five months (January to May) is a good enough stretch of time to give an accurate opinion.
I'll start with the good, only because I'm an optimist.
1. The campus itself is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially during the spring and summer. It's also clean and well-groomed, inside and out. I have a pet peeve about unclean facilities, and HFCC makes sure to keep their surroundings clean and neat, which is always appreciated.
2. With a few exceptions, the flexibility of scheduling your classes whenever you want is great. I was a huge night-owl when I enrolled, so I knew morning classes wouldn't be a good thing for me. All of my classes this term were afternoon, with the earliest starting at 4:00 p.m.
3. The food on campus is really awesome. I've gone to other community colleges as a prospective student and some of them only have one restaurant (A SubWay shop at a WCCCD campus, for example). HFCC has two; The Skylight Cafe and the FiftyOne Fifty Restaurant. They're decently priced and have a wide variety of foods for everyone, even halal.
4. This school is incredibly diverse, racially and nationally, as well. In this one semester alone, I've met people from England, the Middle East and China. I really enjoy learning more about people and cultures that I'm unfamiliar with.
5. All in all, I feel like my education is a good one. I've walked away this semester with a lot more knowledge than I came in with, for the most part.
Now (Uh-oh) here comes the bad....
1. The enrolling process is, simply put, horrible. I imagine if you're a returning student, you know the drill, but for new and prospective students it's an absolute nightmare. Orientation might - emphasis on 'might' - help you figure out a few things, but it's pretty much sitting in an auditorium, listening to all the good things the school has to offer before dividing the crowd into groups of an area of study, taking them into a smaller room where they schedule classes without any consultation from a counselor. In other words, you're lost in the sauce that first semester.
2. Depending on which instructor you get, you may have trouble keeping in touch with them. All instructors are given a school e-mail address and some don't respond to e-mails, calls, and I even had one instructor this semester who showed up way past the class's start time and sometimes they didn't show up at all. Some are also pretty cranky, but I think that's a universal thing.
3. The social life at HFCC is hard to explain. There's a lot to do on campus, but unless you enroll with a buddy or happen to be a social butterfly, it might be difficult to make friends. I'm not sure if it's because the students are all different ages or something else, but sometimes they come off as downright cold. Maybe joining a student club might fix that; I haven't tried, but hopefully when I do, I'll notice a difference.
4. Sometimes I do worry about campus safety. The security guards (and I hope I'm not coming off as ageist) are considerably older; I haven't seen one that didn't appear to be any younger than 40. With the exception of a few car thefts though, I don't think too much goes on. Just keep your cellphone on and charged at all times.
5. Buying books can be a downright HASSLE. The bookstore is incredibly small, so you can only imagine how uncomfortable it is to venture inside the week before or week of a new semester. If you're purchasing books with financial aid, there are limitations to when you can buy them, apparently. I wasn't aware that you're able to purchase books online with financial aid as well as cash, so I'll shell out an extra $11 in lieu of dealing with that headache next semester.All in all, it's a good institution with a few snafus. I fully intend to go until I transfer to University of Michigan-Dearborn, which is conveniently located down the block from HFCC. The only advice I really have is to do some research if you're a new student and be prepared to be lost for a while. Eventually you'll find your way, though.