An Invaluable Experience at WCCS - Reflections from Alumna, Kirsten Jolly
For this week’s blog, we are sharing a reflection from Kirsten Jolly, WCCS Salutatorian from the Class of 2019. Kirsten was a 4 star thespian, honor graduate, Palmetto Fellow Scholarship recipient, and was accepted to 7 universities. Kirsten is attending Clemson University with the plan to major in English. Recently, she called her mom, Tamara Jolly, to thank her for investing in her Christian education at WCCS. Check out her thoughts about why she believes her time at WCCS was so invaluable!
College is hard. But I cannot imagine how much harder it would be without all thirteen years of love and support from Westminster Catawba Christian School behind me. The Christ-centered education I received at WCCS is truly one of my most treasured possessions. As I reflect on the many ways I am thankful for my time at WCCS, I have become particularly aware of the following ways the WCCS faculty, staff, and community have shaped my readiness for life beyond high school:
I definitely feel more adequately prepared for college academics by my time at WCCS. One of the main ways that I was challenged throughout high school was through the emphasis on critical thinking. The teachers at WCCS really helped me learn how to think for myself and logically work through problems, forming my own ideas and opinions on the subject matter. I have seen how important this skill is to my college professors, so this has been a super helpful connection.
Ongoing Support from WCCS Faculty & Staff
Without a doubt, the WCCS faculty and staff go above and beyond what is ultimately required of them to support and guide each student. I believe the small learning environment benefited me in so many ways. Besides offering extra help during their own time and working hard to help students understand the academic material, teachers at WCCS invest in each child as a person. They care about you forever. Today, as a college student, I still have a close relationship with many of my WCCS teachers and talk to them often when I need help or maybe even when I am just feeling down. I could never count the number of after school chats or moments of prayer that I shared with my teachers while I was still a student, and it is a huge comfort knowing that my classmates and I still have that ongoing love and support.
Perhaps most importantly, WCCS spiritually prepared me to enter into the growing secular world that is a reality today. I now attend Clemson University, which is a very large school with a large variety of people. Every day, I am met with new challenges of faith, both in the classroom and in social settings. Even amongst other believers on campus, it’s surprising how many are unfamiliar with large portions of the Bible. WCCS not only encourages students in their personal walk with Christ, but actually teaches them scripture. This has become an extremely valuable tool as I navigate my way through my new campus life. Without a strong spiritual base, I would never be able to survive in such a loud world with so many different beliefs. I’m so grateful for my deep familiarity with scripture, and how I now can share with others on my college campus.
Before I left home, I visited WCCS one more time to bid a last farewell to my teachers and friends and to wish them a good year. Every single faculty and staff member I encountered that day offered to stay in touch and said to give them a call if I ever needed help. That is an experience I truly find irreplaceable. I have been at Clemson for exactly a month today, and I have already reached out to some of my teachers—not for help academically, but just to talk as I’ve been struggling with homesickness and adjusting to a new life. Westminster Catawba Christian School will forever be family to me. Thank you to all the teachers, staff, and friends who have helped me along the way – and of course, THANKS MOM AND DAD!