BJA students explain their transition to university life

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March 18, 2016
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March 18, 2016

BJA students explain their transition to university life

Emily Polley, representing Acads who have graduated to Uni. Photo by Ian Nichols. 29.20

The transition from high school to college is different for each student, including those who graduate from Bob Jones Academy.

Cole Stegall, Katie Jackson, Emily Polley and Laura Beth Weier all graduated from BJA, yet they each experienced a different transition into college life.

Though they spent many years coming to campus every day, not everything about their college experience has been as expected.

Freshman computer science major Cole Stegall grew up attending BJA.

Stegall said despite sharing the same campus, the Academy does feel separate from the University. He said that other than chapel once a week, Academy students rarely come up to the University area of the campus.

He started to feel more incorporated into the BJU family his last few years of high school after taking a few university classes.

Sophomore English major Katie Jackson first came to the Academy in fifth grade.

Since her parents are on the BJU staff, Jackson knew right away that she would be attending BJU after graduation.

While an Academy student, Jackson said she learned a lot about the University through her sister who attended BJU before her.

Jackson said one thing she was not expecting before attending BJU was the abundance and variety of extracurricular activities available. She said she has enjoyed finding activities that are specific to her interests.

Jackson said when she was a freshman she tried to use her familiarity with BJU to help other freshmen adjust to college life.

Senior premed major Emily Polley has attended school on the BJU campus since kindergarten. She said that by the time she became a university student, she understood BJU well, as her siblings and parents attended BJU before her.

Polley said she attended chapel every day, Monday through Thursday, from seventh grade until her junior year when the Academy changed the chapel program from four days to two days a week with university students and the others with high school only.

Polley said between being present in chapel every day and attending Artist Series, she felt integrated into university life well before her college years.

Polley said she always knew that she would continue on to BJU after graduation from the Academy and was excited to study premed, as her dad did before her.

Although senior biology major Laura Beth Weier attended BJA from kindergarten to high school, she said the transition from the Academy to college was a little different from what she expected.

Weier said as an academy student she knew everyone and grew up with a lot of her classmates, so when she became a university student, she had to adjust to being surrounded by lots of unfamiliar people.

“In the Academy everyone comes from the same place, [but at the University,] everyone comes from different backgrounds,” Weier said.