My Future Journey

by Elizabeth Barrett
(Pine Valley, CA, United States)

College Scholarship Essay - This essay helped me win the Pine Valley Improvement Club 2010 Scholarship. - As I face my last few weeks of high school and my future journey to college, I look back on the events that have taken me to this point. I have always been Elizabeth Barrett, home schooled student and sister to three younger brothers. I have been blessed to be home schooled for all but one year of my education. My family attends our home school co-op Class Days under the auspices of Heritage Christian School twice every month where I am currently taking classes in drama and economics. I also sell my handmade jewelry at Class Day during my free period and lunch, although it is more of a hobby than a real business; I enjoy being my own boss.

On the other hand, I have been working in Housekeeping at the Pine Valley Bible Conference Center for the past ten months where I clean the dorms and lodge rooms as well as the meeting halls. I have been an active participant in The Pine Valley Players theatre group for the past two years, playing Lady Olivia in an abridged version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Jo March in a scene from Little Women, Elizabeth Bennet in a monologue from Pride and Prejudice, and the Victorian Mother/Civil War Soldier's Wife in A Journey Through Christmas. Currently my friends and I are attempting to restart the group with a production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. I also am the Youth Representative to the Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC), volunteering my time during their summer children's art program “A Taste of Art,” as well as with helping with the booth and donation bake sales on Pine Valley Day. I have also had one of my poems published in Celebrate!
Young Poets Speak Out.

I recently turned 18 and will be attending beautiful Point Loma Nazarene University next year where my mom went to college and also taught for a few years. I am going to major in Journalism, with perhaps a minor in either Theater or Media/Communications. I enjoy watching and analyzing movies and want to be a film critic. I love old movies and I am a big Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn fan. I also love film masterpieces like Sunset Boulevard which always gives me the chills. I am hoping to take part in a semester interning behind the scenes in Hollywood. Also, during my junior year at PLNU, I plan to be part of the PLNU London Term where I'll spent a semester abroad in London, England and study Theatre, Creative Writing, Poetry, and Art. I'm looking forward to traveling up and down the country and over to Ireland and France during three-day weekends and the fall vacation, not to mention enjoying all the glories of London itself.

I have been so very blessed by both the atmosphere and community of Pine Valley during the past eight and a half years that I have lived in this beautiful town. My years here will always bring me fond memories as I look toward my future home-away-from home.

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Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your college scholarship essay. Best wishes to you in college.

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I Never Went to School in my Pajamas!

by Savannah Moses
(Lewis Center, Ohio, U.S.A)

College Essay

Bright lights, loud bells, long hallways lined with blue lockers, though you couldn’t see them most of the time through the hordes of people scattering in different directions because they only had one minute left to get to class on time. This is a new world.

As I make my way tentatively through the first confusing days of my junior year, every person I meet asks me where I had moved from. They are fascinated to hear the answer: homeschool. The most frequent reaction to the idea of homeschool, however, surprises me. So you got to, like, sleep in and wear your pajamas all day! I wish I could do that, John said to me in chem. And I laughed and said, “I never did that!”

The thing about my homeschool experience that seems to surprise people the most is that I never got to pretend school involved watching TV in my pajamas. The primary difference is that our classroom is never left behind us at 2:35 in the afternoon (out of sight and mind until the lumbering and creaking school buses pick us up again the next day). Homeschool can last late into the afternoon, six or seven days a week, into or through summer. You always get your homework done if you live at your school.

Why did you decide to come to public school? How hard was your transition? These are questions I am still asked frequently. I just wanted to try something new I also wanted to see if I could handle it. I wondered -worried- how I compared to other students in my grade.

My biggest fear going into public school was taking precalc. My math capabilities had improved in the past couple of years, but I freaked out that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. (The other fear that I didn’t really consider until the moment arrived was, where are you supposed to sit in a cafeteria filled with two hundred people you have never seen in your life???!)

There was no going back from my decision. I had to just lurch forward and pretend I knew what I was doing. Learn the bell schedule (never had one), find my way around (why does every subject have to be in a separate part of the building?), learn how to open my locker (it sounds easier than it is ok?), learn a million people’s names (still working on that one).

Even with all the newness of surroundings, my transition to public school was easier than people might expect. My saving grace appeared when the athletics director asked for volunteers interested in helping out the sports trainers. I have always wanted to become a doctor, so I volunteered. It was the best thing I could have done. I learned that I don’t faint at the mere sight of blood, and I also became good friends with many of the players. One of them is now my boyfriend, and his jersey has become part of my Friday uniform.

I discovered that I could conquer and succeed in a new kind of learning environment. Homeschooling prepares you taking on new challenges. It teaches you adaptability as part of your core curriculum. I got a yearlong A in precalc.

Another question I am asked frequently is: which school do you like better? And I can’t pick. It would be like comparing a tictac to a junior mint. They have the same purpose, but are nothing like the other. But they are both the same in that I never wore pajamas to either one.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Savannah for entering your essay into our contest, and for dispelling some popular myths about homeschooling. I must confess though, that when I work at home I sometimes wear pajamas. Good luck to you.

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