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Student Success: Colby Gunter

May 8, 2024

Colby Gunter has a small-town soul. After graduating from Rockingham Community College on May 9, he’s headed to UNC-Chapel Hill to study biology, then will apply to medical school.

Gunter aims for a future in family medicine.

“I enjoy the connection with the patients more than the technical stuff like surgery,” he said. “Private practice and out-patient work have a lot more patient connection. I’ve been blessed with a lot of good family medicine practitioners, so that’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to go in that direction.”

Student Colby Gunter stands by the sign to a tutoring center.

The 2023-2024 academic year was Gunter’s first as a full-time college student.

As a junior and senior in high school, he took dual enrollment courses, earning high school and college credits at the same time, so he’s graduating early.

When he fully started at RCC in August 2023, Gunter already had 30 credits on his college transcript – including precalculus, psychology, public speaking, sociology and Spanish.

Gunter made sure he was taking courses whose credits would transfer to Carolina.

In the meantime, he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at RCC.

“I really love it. I really do. It wasn’t necessarily what I had planned when I graduated high school, but looking back, if I could go back to last February when I was uncertain of what I wanted to do, there would be no doubt that I’d still come to RCC,” he said.

“I had a great academic advisor, and I’ve gotten to meet plenty of other people that helped me kind of figure out the right way to go. And with classes, I can’t name one teacher or professor that I didn’t think seriously had my best interest at heart,” Gunter continued.

“I actually have friends that are at big universities. Their Biology 101 class is 400 people big. Their professors aren’t grading their work, it’s mostly teacher assistants,” Gunter said. “They’re kind of in a situation where they’re not quite learning. They’re having to take extreme amounts of their days to learn their stuff. But every teacher I’ve had, I’ve learned something. Their number one goal is to make sure that we learned something. If there was a way I could stay here and get everything done that I want to, I would really consider it. I mean, I love everybody over here.”

Gunter was such an excellent student that his biology professor recommended him as a tutor in RCC’s Academic Resource Center (The ARC) in October. He’s also helped students with chemistry and math. Gunter tutored students in his own classes, and others working on their GEDs – a free program RCC offers.

Another extra-curricular activity for Gunter was the Mixed Martial Arts Club on campus.

“It’s great to learn, and it’s good to understand how to defend yourself in certain situations,” he said.  

When he eventually finishes with his education, he wants to come back to a small town to practice medicine.

“I’m kind of a small-town person. I’m kind of an old soul too. My plan is to work in Reidsville or Greensboro, but probably live in Rockingham County. There’s just something about it. I’ve visited big cities, but that’s not really my thing.”

“I’m really blessed and thankful for the opportunity of RCC. I think my generation is kind of shifting towards universities. But RCC is really good in its advanced technologies. They have Center for Workforce Development going up. But the opportunity of just getting into dual enrollment and taking classes like biology and chemistry, that is severely underrated,” Gunter said.

“Not a lot of people know about the opportunities that you can get from a place like a community college and RCC specifically. It’s truly been amazing to understand that I have a better foundation than a lot of the people my age that are at big universities. They’re supposed to be known for certain things like that, but I feel like I’m getting a better scope,” he said.

But he still blocks his schedule to accommodate study time.

“If I can get stuff really compacted, like for instance if I can get one class after another or maybe three in a row, I would be done for the day. If I’m able to kind of give myself an opportunity of time where I know nothing’s coming in the future, then I’m able to sit down and really focus,” he said. “A lot of times when I have future stuff going on, it’s hard to focus and knowing that I have to get up and leave anyway, I can’t really get settled into a specific studying habit. But I do love flash cards.”

And revisiting tutoring, Gunter said that opportunity was one of his studying tricks.

“To be quite honest, the biggest help for studying has been The ARC. If someone doesn’t come in specifically for my chemistry help, I’ll listen in to the other chemistry tutors. That constant reinforcement is super important. There’s a saying, something like ‘you learn it and then you speak it and then you teach it’. There are different ways of reinforcement, to better learn and understand,” he said.

He explained with a laugh, though, that the “dirty part of the secret is out” – that the sciences come naturally to him.

And it’s clear that Rockingham Community College was a natural fit for him.

“My time at RCC has been amazing,” he said.

~By RCC Director of Public Information Gerri Hunt


Rockingham Community College
PO Box 38
215 Wrenn Memorial Rd.
Wentworth, NC 27375


Monday to Thursday:
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


336-349-9986 (fax)