Physical Therapist at Swedish Medical Center
I got my associates degree before going to university through a program called running start (I went to community college beginning in my junior year of high school). It can be a great way to save some money on tuition. I agree that the classes are generally easier than at university, so do plan to study hard and keep a high GPA. Also, it can be harder to be admitted into a university as a transfer student than as a freshman because some universities accept fewer transfer students than freshmen. This was the case at the university I attended. So find out what you would need to get in to the university of your choice as a transfer student in terms of grades, extracurricular activities etc
Another thing to be aware of is that it is common to lose credits in the transfer process. This can happen either by losing credits entirely (I lost 3) or when the university accepts some credits as electives rather than as the original subject category (for example, a sociology class that doesn't fit what the university considers sociology can now be an elective. This happened to about 15 of my community college credits). Generally, this will happen more often when transferring into a private university, out of state, or to a university that is on semesters when the community college was on quarters or vice versa. Do your best to find out all you can about the university you would like to go to. Are there community colleges that they often receive transfer students from? Talk with admissions and advisors at both the community colleges and the universities you are considering and make a plan that puts you on the right track to maintain as many of your community college credits as possible.
I hope this gives you some helpful information as you make your decision. Good luck!