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Transitioning From High School to College Made Simple

Women's Basketball coach instructing a player
What are you going to do with your life? How many times have you heard that during your high school career? The transition from high school to career involves some big steps. Figuring out your identity is definitely a big item on the list. After all, knowing who you are will determine what you do. Or is it the other way around?
 
Some would argue that knowing what you will do for the next five or six decades is an impossible task. But that should not stop you from starting the college adventure. It is a pivotal transition that will help direct your next big steps.
You might know what you want to major in. Perhaps you even know what career you want for the next several decades. You may have a firm grasp on who you are. Or you might not be clear on any of this.
The college experience is about figuring all this out and more. Other people are also going through this transitional period. Coming together with them makes this a perfect opportunity to answer these questions.

Kelsie Peterson

Meet Kelsie Peterson, a current Grace College senior. She is an Elementary Education major with a focus on math. She knew what she wanted to do, but not necessarily the path she would take.

In fact, she originally chose Grace for the athletic programs. Unsure of what else Grace had to offer, Kelsie came all the same. She admits struggling until the point where she chose to dive into all Grace has to offer. She embraced opportunities at relationships. Attending Bible studies became a greater desire. Asking questions of professors further clarified her goals for her future.

A Season of Discovery

There are certain seasons in our lives that offer drastic and quick growth. From birth to a toddler would be one example. The teenage years would be another. Yet, the college years rival any other season. As people, we are still growing physically and developing mentally. Coupled with that growth is the discovery of who we are and what we desire to do with our lives.

There may only be four years in a college career (Grace can make that three!). But the transformation over those years represents the many lessons learned. An independence never before experienced. Relationships that will last a lifetime. Not just knowledge, but learning how to learn.

Kelsie Peterson began her college career only focused on athletics. Read her own testimony to see what she discovered about herself.

When I used to get the questions, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What do you do?’ I would always answer with, ‘I am an athlete.’ Being an athlete was who I thought I was. Everything I did revolved around my sports. After my freshmen year of college, I soon realized that if being an athlete was all there was to me, I had a sad life ahead of me. My identity is no longer found in the sports in which I take part. Athletics will always be a part of what I do, but it will not be the whole of who I am.

The Grace Women’s Basketball team huddles for prayer before a game.

I’m very blessed to have had coaches along the way who have ‘raised me’ to be the woman I am. They have given me great opportunity to grow. I have used every moment with sports to become a new person. Enduring various injuries and surgeries. Experiencing frustrations and losses. I have savored the excitement with every win and every celebration.

Through it all, I have continued to love the game of basketball. I know that because I’m no longer an athlete after today, it does not mean I have nothing left to offer this world. To think that I would limit God to giving me one talent is laughable. Limit God? Who does that? The things I have learned in my athletic career are things I will carry with me forever. Today I close a chapter only to turn the page and start a new one.

From Freshmen to Seniors

It doesn’t take long to realize the growth experienced in high school pales in comparison. The four years you spend in college will most assuredly bring about great changes.

You enter as a freshman, wondering how you will make new friends. You wonder how you’ll survive a larger class load. (Pro tip: Grace makes that easier as well!) Unless you live close enough to home, you’ll navigate doing your own laundry. Setting sleep lack-of-sleep schedules is also on you.

The college years will force you to grow. Adapting your study habits to the changing courses will be a lesson all its own. Friendships will develop. Then you will watch friends head off in different directions. This will compel you to embrace and value relationships.

During these four years, you will discover all the things you will actually be able to do with your college degree. Or you will switch your major to match your new plan. Either way, you will begin to make the decisions for yourself that you previously watched adults make. That’s when the realization hits you. You’re an adult. It comes with responsibility but also rewards.

Kelsie’s Future

So what does the future hold for Kelsie?

“As a teacher, I want to be a light to my students.”

 

Kelsie rises over her opponent for a shot.

For students to feel safe at school, they need to be heard. Grace was not initially on Kelsie’s radar. Being heard was something she felt when visiting. She felt known. She felt a connection.

Kelsie always had an interest in college-level sports, but now she realizes God was guiding her to Grace College. Filled with faculty and staff that understand relationships are a big key to success and happiness in life, Kelsie experienced what many students experience.

“The professors and staff at Grace really do care about who you are and your story.”

In the School of Education, Kelsie was affected by Dr. Laurie Owen early and often. The perfect combination of kindness and accountability, Dr. Owen exemplifies what a teacher should be about. This, according to Kelsie, has helped define who she aspires to be in her own career.

Grace College professors offer this balance of relationships and expertise across all majors. To see how Grace can help you discover yourself, your purpose, and your future, click the link below and check out our recently relaunched website.

Tagged With: 2018 Archives, Career Preparation, College Visit, Education, Faculty, Feature Stories, Grace College, Students