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

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Published: November 28, 2017

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian
Reformation Day Celebration

Join OCU's Reformation Day Celebration!

Reformation Day Celebration

Published: October 30, 2017

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by a panel Q
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and
Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

A Wesleyan’s Debt to Luther on Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Published: October 30, 2017

By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans are children of the Reformation. The three great hallmarks of Reformation theology are: Salvation by grace through faith alone, Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), and the priesthood of all
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be
Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Importance of a Christian Education

Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Published: November 8, 2016

Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of a college or university form the imagination and hearts of its students—whether designed or not. If drinking and partying are accepted and even expected to “fit in,” then many students will
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular”
OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates

OCU Student Finds Hope Through Classmates image

Published: October 17, 2016

By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and abilities. A purpose given to them because our King knows what He is doing. I sit in a class of 20 people and think, "there are 20 world changers right here." It amazes me to think what we, as
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I see the future. I sit and look at all of the hardworking students and how each one of them has a divine purpose they are preparing for. A purpose given specially to them because of their skills and
By Krista Williams In a time where our country and humanity is living in a great amount of fear, being at OCU gives me so much hope. I find peace in being here as I look around the classrooms- I