Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Is college preparation worth it? A teen's perspective. image
By Jordyn Williams (pictured)

In the years approaching college, the weight of the world is on us teens. Our stress is magnified as the expectations for college readiness intensifies. Our days grow longer and our nights shorten as we return home from a seven hour day of school only to spend additional hours studying and completing homework for multiple AP and honors classes. We wake up early the next morning to repeat the cycle. Work-free weekends are infrequent when they have become filled with youth leadership group gatherings, club meetings, community service, and SAT/ACT prep. The talk of scholarships is a daily thing, and application websites are bookmarked on our laptops. Finding leisure time is rare and exhaustion becomes normal since getting enough sleep is a rare occasion. As I live through this, trying my hardest to do everything I can to attend a top-rated college, it makes me wonder, “Is it worth it?”

College readiness begins early. Ever since I was young, my parents made sure to keep me involved in a variety of activities. My parents signed me up for dance, gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, computer classes and more, making the first step to helping me find my interests and talents. Even my passion for music was found by my mother driving 7-year-old me to a house of a piano instructor one random morning and saying, “You’re starting piano lessons today.” I was not very fond of the idea at the time, but later on, playing piano became a love of mine. Little did I know this was just the beginning of the college readiness process. My passion for music drove me to become alto section leader for the Select Women’s Choir and Top 40 Concert Choir at Dutchtown High School.

Gifted programs, student government, social studies fairs, spelling bees…I did it all throughout elementary and middle school, and I made sure that I did it extremely well. I won the spelling bees, earned first place in social studies fairs, was accepted in the Junior Beta Club and the National Junior Honor Society, and made straight A’s. Not getting on the all “A” honor roll was not an option. Even when I was younger, I never looked at high school as the end of education. My parents always encouraged me to surpass their accomplishments. By the time I got to high school, I knew it was time to be serious. The pressure to be great amplified, and I pushed myself even harder. By the end of my 10th grade year, I was looking forward to a summer break, and the fact that my mother urged me to do two classes at Clayton State University over the summer while volunteering at a music camp exasperated me. No one else is doing this, I thought. Everyone else was hanging with their friends over the summer and enjoying their break before the very important junior year. Still pushed to do more, an ACT prep class and two clubs were added to the mix. While tiring and very demanding, this strenuous path to success has gotten me into the National Society for High School Scholars, invitations for camps at Ivy League schools, a rank of top 2 percent in a class of 380, enough credits to graduate from high school at the end of my junior year, and the list of rewarding accolades goes on.

From a high school teen’s perspective, again I ask the question, “Is it worth it?” Are the gifted programs worth it? Are the spelling bees, social studies fairs and science fairs worth it? Are the countless music lessons worth it? Is losing much-needed sleep worth it? Is sacrificing leisure time or being looked at as boring because you focus on your school work more than hanging out with friends worth it? Are the clubs, leadership groups, ACT/SAT preparatory classes worth it? Because of my parents’ and my sacrifices for education, I am ahead of the game in college preparation. I meet the acceptance requirements for all of my college choices. So again, is it worth it? Though it is a lot, no doubt, the big picture says, “Yes, it is indeed worth it!” “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Jordyn J. Williams is a junior at Dutchtown High School in Hampton, Georgia. She is in the top 2 percent of her class and maintains a weighted GPA of 4.44. She is the daughter of Dr. Shawn Thomas, Dean of OCU's Georgia campus.

Photograph and article courtesy of the Henry Herald.

Articles of Interest

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

Published: January 23, 2019

The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester was my first semester taking strictly pre-law courses, it was really tough. I worked extremely hard to achieve a 4.0 and it feels really good to have accomplished this.” Kevin Bennie, Director of
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a
New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge

New Year Brings Opportunity and Challenge image

Published: January 2, 2019

2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference is understanding the key to maturing spiritual development as expressed in Christ’s parable in the Gospel of Luke 5:36-38 (NIV): “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one.
2019 brings opportunities to attain your educational goals. We would love to help you with your fresh start. In education, sports, work, and personal relationships, for Christians, the difference

Archived Articles of Interest

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins Receives 2018 Faith & Liberty Award

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Published: February 21, 2018

The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Student Profile: Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling

Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
Lifelong Learning image

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning image

Published: January 2, 2018

by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn, increasing in knowledge and skills, you will eventually stagnate.  All too often promising leaders plateau early in their careers—because they stopped learning.  Even if you never change jobs again,
by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn,
by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate
Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Student Profile: AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example

Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Published: December 26, 2017

Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the future, but also enabling her to demonstrate faith-based leadership to her peers. Becoming a servant leader wasn’t always in the cards for Crowley.  Higher education seemed unobtainable to her until a
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to
Professor Larry Olson

Christmas in the Wesleyan Tradition

Professor Larry Olson

Published: December 6, 2017

An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and inspires the individual in society, the human condition? LO:  Sure.  Great question!  In our Integration of Faith and Psychology course, we talk about personality theories.  Why do we need them? 
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society