aside from the five years i spent in public elementary school, i am a product of a private christian school education -eight years (6th-12th, plus kindergarten) at santa fe christian and three at pepperdine. and while it certainly made for an unique experience, i can’t imagine learning algebra or taking upper-division spanish classes any other way.
having been exposed to both the public and private sides of education, i have strong arguments for both. i think sometimes what it really comes down to is the individual student and the parent involvement at home. but for someone who tends to thrive better in a smaller-class-roomed environment, i loved the one-on-one attention that i received by being at a smaller school. the uniform aspect in middle and high school certainly made keeping up on the latest trends relatively moot and i loved being able to pray freely at the start of any given class. when i began to think about what i wanted in a college, the impact of my private small school education certainly factored in. did i want to get lost amongst 40,000 other students at the sake of having a football team, greek housing, and for lack of a better term a “true college experience”? or did i want to mimic an environment that i had come to love and prosper in for the past seven years? as you know, i chose the latter, and in attending pepperdine, i found it to be the perfect size for me. at around 3,000 undergrad, i “knew” most everyone and there was a comfort in that. it also made avoiding the “peppervine” near impossible, but eh, that’s a trade-off at a small school, i suppose.
so today i’m thankful for my education. for the the ability to have been a big fish in a small pond for most of my scholastic career. i am thankful for the teachers who sacrificed time, funds, and their living room floor in the name of AP study sessions and final exams. for the instructors who challenged me and pushed me to produce my very best work and for the counselors and front office employees who knew me by first name and prayed for me daily. i am thankful for a christian-based education and for teachers who cared about not only about me reaching my potential in the classroom but more importantly my potential in life as well. i realize private education isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. sure, a small school can certainly make things interesting with a rampant rumor mill and such and yes, uniforms aren’t ideal when you’re trying to find your style stride at the ripe age of 16, but i wouldn’t change my high school experience for anything. it made the transition to pepperdine a seamless one and in some ways, i think college classes were a bit easier as a result.
so go eagles. and go waves. and three cheers (and a million thanks) to everyone who contributed to me earning my high school diploma and my college degree. most specifically my parents who funded them both (thank you, thank you, thank you).