10 Things Public High School Students Experience At A Christian College

10 Things Public High School Students Experience At A Christian College

Attending a Christian college can be a big change for students coming from a public high school.
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There are many changes that public high school students will have to adjust to if they make the decision to attend a private Christian college, especially if they are not particularly religious or practice any other religion. These are just some things that freshmen coming in from a large public high school may experience as they try to adjust to college life. In the end, these differences may even benefit students and expand their outlook on life.

1. Class Size

If you attended a large high school, chances are you graduated with anywhere from 200 to 800 people. At a small private school, you are more likely to graduate with 100 other classmates or less. There are benefits to being part of a small class. It is nearly impossible to slip through the cracks at a private college and everyone has an important role in the school’s student body.

2. Bible Studies

Many public school students go through the majority of their high school career without learning about any sort of religion in school. Having to take mandatory classes about Christianity in college is often a new experience for students coming in from a public high school. This can seem very odd at first but even if you aren’t very religious or have a different religion, but bible classes can be interesting. They are usually structured very like history classes and can give insight into literary allusions that will aid students in English classes.

3. Chapel

At most private Christian colleges, students are required to attend chapel. This is a way to reach out to students and keep them informed about events on campus but it also serves as a time to worship the Christian God. Again, like taking Bible classes, this may seem odd to many students coming from a large public high school where religion is usually left out of most academic conversations. I have come to find this time as an easy way to stay connected with my fellow students and see how they like to practice their religion in different ways.

4. Extracurricular Activities

Having a small class size means that there are often a lot more opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities. In bigger classes you have more people to compete with for certain positions in clubs and teams. This is not always the case for students at small colleges.

5. Religion in the Classroom

Oftentimes at private Christian colleges, professors that teach non-religious classes still tend to incorporate the religion into their lessons more often than students coming from large public schools are used to. It may seem odd to pray before a math test or to address biblical history in a research paper as though it is 100 percent fact. However, you eventually get used to this and it begins to seem less awkward.

6. Leadership Opportunities

Not only is there more opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities at a small college but there is also more opportunity to lead. In large public high schools, leaders are often selected based on popularity. However, at small Christian colleges, students realize the worth of all different kinds of people. Students know that the best leaders aren’t the most popular but the most caring and driven students. Being in positions of leadership helps students to feel more confident and more prepared for life after their college career.

7. Community Service

Small Christian schools offer many opportunities to serve the surrounding community. Public schools do some charity drives every once in a while but never get quite as hands-on with helping humanity as a Christian college does.

8. Making Connections

In public high school you may have a favorite teacher that you like to talk to after class but that is as close as you can get to the kind of relationships you will make with your professors if you attend a small Christian college. Many private colleges encourage their students to spend time with their professors outside of class. We have dinner at their house, receive advice from them, and make connections that run deep. Students learn quickly at a Christian college that their professors really care about them and want to see them succeed. They would not let a single student fail under any circumstances if it were up to them.

9. Class Discussions

The average high school class can have 30 students but at many private colleges this would be considered a large class. Oftentimes you will be in a class of about 12 people. Obviously more popular classes and general education curriculum see bigger class sizes but we also have classes with as little as only three students. This breeds great classroom discussion. You have more time for every student to be heard and ask questions.

10. Meeting People from Different Backgrounds

You might think that going to a Christian college most people would have very similar beliefs but that is not always the case. My college may not be anywhere near as diverse as my high school but I still meet people from backgrounds you might not expect. There are students who were home-schooled. We have international students. You may meet students who come from families with different financial situations from yours. There are even students of different faiths. Each student has something unique to bring to the table. The majority may have some common beliefs but not every single person does and even those who do are all different from each other in some way.

Cover Image Credit: Chelsea Payton

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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How To Work In Free Time When There Is No Time That Is Free

There are only 24 hours in a day but you are only one person- cut yourself some slack.

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Anyone else feel like they can't ever catch a freaking break? Between exams, papers, illness, relationships, family, sports, and God knows what else, it can feel like there is never time for you to just relax. I find myself wishing every day for just a few more hours and every weekend wishing for just one more day. All I want is some free time to do whatever I want whether it's sleep, watch Netflix, or hang out with friends and it seems like that is just impossible.

But it is possible. All you need is a little time management.

Now it might seem sad or a little bonkers to plan every minute of every day, but you do what you gotta do for the sake of your sanity. Everyone needs some time to just chill and let yourself relax.

Plan out your day. Pull up Google sheets or draw on a piece of paper your full day. Block out all of your classes, meetings, clubs, anything that is constant. Give yourself some time in the morning to wake up and get ready, then block off some time at night to get ready for bed. Even if your classes don't all start at the same time every day, having consistent bedtimes and wake-up times will help you tremendously.

Now, look at all that white-space. Think of all the possibilities you could fill that space with! Actually, don't. That sounds stressful. Instead, begin to prioritize. Block off an hour here and an hour there to focus specifically on one subject. If you finish your work within that hour- boom! Free time! Or, get started on the next subject.

No matter what you need to factor in some time for yourself. Huge white spaces can be intimidating because you might feel like you're wasting that precious time rather than utilizing it as much as possible. But, if you plan out your entire day, and stick to it, then there is no waste.

And always remember, free time is not wasted time. Take that free time to focus on yourself and do something you want to do. Watch an episode of whatever show you're on, take a 20-minute power nap, blast the tunes and dance it out- it doesn't matter! Take some time for you.

Life can get jam-packed and overwhelming very quickly. There are only 24 hours in a day and I know you want to accomplish as much work as possible, but at the end of the day you can only do so much and you need to cut yourself some slack. You are only one person and you need to take care of yourself above all else.

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