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.

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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Stop Basing Your Ideal Balanced Life Off Others’

Improving your habits to live a more balanced life is always a great concept, except when you base it off someone else.

It’s that time of year again. We’ve all just returned from Spring break, burnt or refreshed. It's also the season for biggest college holiday of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that a frat boy will roll out of bed at 6 a.m. not to make it to his 8 a.m. class on time, but to crack open a cold one with the boys before the sun has even had a chance to shine. It’s a marathon of drinking for the average college student, and to make matters worse this year it’s on a Saturday, which means there won’t be classes to hold students back from going hard all-day long.

At my campus, an average student should expect to hear about joint or lone frat parties that are held morning, day, and night and then maybe expect a 50/50 chance of making it to the bars (which if you’ve made it that far, you deserve a medal). With all that being said, it is up to you what you wish to do with that information.

As a freshman in college, I went from going out one night every other week at the beginning of my first semester to going out Wednesday through Saturday (four nights) by the time I left for Winter break. My second semester I’d cut down to three. Last semester, two. And now in my second semester sophomore year, I only like to go out one night a week, preferably Saturday.

Was going out that often freshman year good for my health? Probably not. Am I living a more balanced life now prioritizing school and a healthy lifestyle but still making time for fun? For sure!

I still don’t regret going out that much freshman year because it’s normal for students away from home for the first time in a new environment to try taking on new things. For you, that could have looked like my freshman year or it could have looked completely different (or could be if you’re still in your first year). The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s normal to boomerang between different extremes trying to find your perfect balance between responsibility and fun that will bring you success while still bringing you happiness.

Today, I am most certain that the lifestyle I’m living fits my current goals for success and happiness, but that doesn’t mean that your ideal lifestyle at the moment is the same as mine. Why is that? Well besides the obvious that we all have different priorities, it is what those priorities are built upon — values. Most of our values won’t actually ever change, because we adopted them from a young age; however, the experiences we transition through especially during our young adult life will shift around our rankings and prioritization of those values.

For example, one of my larger values is being super socially involved. I’m involved in a social sorority, a professional business fraternity, the honors community, and The Odyssey, but starting as a freshman I didn’t have all these groups and connections. Instead, I became socially involved by going out, which you can meet many new people through. Gradually as I joined these organizations, my network grew quickly and my social bucket was starting to overflow.

My purpose in going out to meet new people quickly diminished because my value for being super socially involved was already being fulfilled. So why do I continue to still go out once a week? Other values that’s purpose also existed in going out was over-shined by my value of being super socially involved. These other values still exist for me, such as letting loose my pent-up energy from the week. It’s nice to have a night out to force you to forget your pressures from the previous week and the week yet to come, but I don’t need more than one night a week to do so. Do you see the balance yet?

Let’s look at another end of the spectrum. Another extremely large value I hold is enjoying my academic success. I prefer to view academia as a gift rather than a burden. By viewing newly learned knowledge as a gift, I may spend more time viewing the material and studying it, but it leaves me feeling up-to-date with my classes and extra-gifted by receiving a better grade.

It’s by my perception of this value that I don’t feel bummed staying in doing homework than going out with my friends. Maybe you don’t have this value and that’s okay! If you don’t have this value and maybe your workload is quite light, then where your larger values do lie are areas to give your time to in one way or another.

Balance is different for every individual. This St. Patrick’s Day, I will not be waking up before the sun to crack open a cold one. I’ll be waking up at my regular 7:30 a.m. alarm to eat a healthy breakfast and workout in my dorm room — which will be followed up with getting glammed up and ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parties that follow. A friend of mine plans on waking up at 4 a.m. (!) while another won’t be drinking at all that day but has offered to take care of anyone that needs a ride.

All our values and value rankings differ substantially, but in our own ways, we are living a balanced life. It’s all in your values.

Cover Image Credit: J Bradley Snyder / Flickr

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10 Things That Can Go Wrong Before 10 AM

Sometimes the morning just makes me want to sleep until next week.

When things just aren't working out before 10 a.m., it is easy to want to crawl back into bed and sleep until Saturday.

1. Bedhead

Everybody has their fair share of bed head, but the kind that needs a shower to fix. Really hair?! Why today! It's too early to be soaking wet!

2. Waking up to a school email

Sometimes, this is good news, snow day anyone? But when a teacher is sending out emails early in the morning there is a chance is it is something about assignments done incorrectly — and nobody wants to wake up to that.

3. Waking up to your roommate in the bathroom

Roommate, I love you — but why do we always seem to need the bathroom in the same moments?

4. Checking your phone to see many missed calls or texts from a family member

The first thing to think is — oh no! Who died? That is never a good way to start a day.

5. Waking up to Snapchats from guys

Hate to break it to you — but the midnight booty call looks especially trashy when it's read at 7 a.m. Also, if you knew the first thing about me — you would know that I am rarely awake after 11 p.m.

6. Oversleeping

*Wakes up at 9:15 a.m.* Well it's not worth it to go to my 9 a.m. now!

7. Realizing in the morning that you forgot an assignment

Rather it was due last night or in my 9 a.m. class, I'm probably going to get a late grade on it now!

8. Car troubles

When the morning is going perfectly — until the car won't start! Sorry boss, sorry professor; I had to walk because my car is a piece of junk!

9. Getting locked out

I had a plan to be productive this morning. But I guess I don't have a choice but to sit around and wait until the front desk opens because my life is behind my locked door!

10.Remembering something unpleasant as soon as the alarm goes off

I wanted the first ten minutes of my day to not worry about the big exam coming up. Thanks, brain!

The bright side is the day can only get better from here! Since it is before 10 a.m., there is still plenty of time to carpe this diem!

Cover Image Credit: Picjumbo

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