02 November 2012

Thankful November 2: My Education

From the day I started kindergarten to the day I graduated from college, I have been blessed with an incredible education. I attended Decatur Classical school, the best magnet elementary in Chicago where I was taught to read well above my age level, where I had regular art and music courses in my curriculum, and where I was taught how to be a leader, work in a team, and think for myself. This program laid the very foundation for the kind of thinker and problem solver I am today. It also opened a lot of doors for me.

Following my time at Decatur, I spent a few months in a program at Taft high school in their pioneer 7th and 8th grade program. The curriculum was not a good fit, and my parents knowingly made the decision to transfer me to Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, another fantastic magnet where I finished up middle school. I took off campus courses at the Terra Museum, performed in plays, and enjoyed my advanced literature class. When I was accepted into Northside College Prep, I was reluctant to go, but again my parents urged me to attend with an open mind.

NCP, like Decatur, is the best magnet school in the state, consistently churning out students of great intellect with an incredibly high college acceptance rate. While I might not have entirely loved my time there (EW high school), I will say that my love of reading was born under the tutelage of Mr. Snow, and for that I will always be grateful. I participated in a handful of plays on and off campus, and took a fair amount of art classes - something that I'm sure I took for granted. I was also accepted into 6 out of 7 of the liberal arts colleges I applied to. But most importantly, I graduated.

And then came Knox. It was at Knox that I learned the statistic that only 2% of the world's population is college educated. Hearing that at the beginning of my sophomore year gave me the self-realization that I was incredibly fortunate to have made it this far. That I ended up at an amazing school, with the support of my family, and was going to do everything in my power to become a college graduate. I fulfilled all of my credits, rarely missed class, joined a sorority, presided over two clubs, studied, abroad, lived on campus, attained two grants, and completed thesis research for my major in art history. I made numerous friends and graduated with a new set of life skills that absolutely prepared me for my life after college. Instilled in me was and is a lifelong love of learning, a pursuit to continue growing every day.

For my 17 years of education in some of the best schools in the country, I am grateful.

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