SummaryJeff Minick queried last year’s Seton Catholic College Scholarship winners about their freshman year and for advice on the challenges of higher education.
In 2018, Seton awarded ten $1,500 scholarships to Seton graduates bound for colleges or universities recommended by the Newman Guide. Recently, we reached out to these lucky grads to ask them about their experience as a college freshman.
Scholarship winner Maria Rakoczy of Huntsville, Alabama, has spent this year at Ave Maria University in Southwest Florida.
Though leaning toward a major in history, Maria had interests outside of the liberal arts and wanted to go to a Catholic university with a wide variety of courses. Ave Maria has provided her with that spectrum of choice.
“College makes you more mindful of the people around you,” Maria says when asked how campus life had changed her perspective. “Not just being considerate toward others, but more aware of what they have to offer and what they contribute to the community.” In her email response, she wrote that “Among the many lessons I have learned in my first year of college, perhaps the one that
I have found most impactful is truly recognizing the ways God makes Himself present in my life…This perspective reminds me that though life, and college for that matter, has its ups and downs, I must continue to see the good that can come out of it.” In the same note, Maria, who was enrolled at Seton for her high school years, also stated that “I am thankful for the many papers I wrote for the Seton curriculum. Though they were painful back then, they prepared me for the barrage of papers I face now.”
We also heard from Rebecca Krymowski of Homerville, Ohio, who is studying graphic design at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, a Catholic school with some 3,000 students. She also credited Seton with helping her make her way through college academics.
“Seton did well to prepare me for the workload, especially in terms of writing. Even more so than in English, I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the knowledge of religion Seton gave me and find myself ahead of my theology class.”
Rebecca, who has gone on several retreats and frequently attends adoration, also reports that this past fall she made the Dean’s List at Walsh.
Claire Amaya Parra of Valencia, Spain, journeyed far from home to attend Christendom College here in Front Royal, Virginia. She writes:
“When I arrived, I was traveling alone as my parents were not able to accompany me…In fact, before I arrived at Dulles I had never even been to Virginia. Despite this uncertainty and expectancy, I was able to find a home in Christendom and fit into its small community of vibrant Catholics coming from families similar to mine. Growing up in a country with fewer and fewer practicing Catholics, it was enlightening for me to befriend so many people with similar backgrounds as mine, despite a huge geographical and cultural difference.”
Claire praised both the students and the “incredibly faithful teachers” of Christendom. She relates that she enjoys school events such as the Chester-Belloc Debate Society as well as interacting with her fellow students. Like Rebecca and Maria, Claire also reports that she has grown “spiritually and intellectually” during her year in college. And like them, she credits Seton Home Study School for helping her prepare to take on the challenges of higher education.
Scholarship recipient Kyle Fletcher of Rockwall, Texas, is a seminarian at the University of Dallas, Texas, where he is majoring in philosophy and letters. His academic schedule is filled with courses like English literature, philosophy, science, and theology. Of these Kyle writes,“The courses have been demanding, but the rigorous courses that I had with Seton prepared me to succeed in completing the workload in college.”
Kyle also offers advice to Seton’s high school students.
“I would recommend that high school students apply themselves as well as they can to their studies. It will provide them with a solid base in college as it did for me. Also, when they make the decision of where they want to go to college, the most important aspect in a school is faith. A Catholic university in the Newman Guide would be best or at least a school with a solid Catholic campus ministry.”
Hats off to these young people and to all Seton graduates, past and present. May you continue to carry the Faith in your hearts and to let the light of that Faith shine wherever you go.
Register for the 2019 Scholarship
Current senior high school students who wish to apply for a Seton Catholic College Scholarship for the fall of 2019 should visit the Seton website at: setonhome.org/collegescholarship