Holy Trinity is a “college-preparatory” school that helps students get into college. But it also prepares you for life in (and after!) college as well. After all, the school is about forming Christian leaders, not just college students. Here are just a few ways Holy Trinity prepared me for LIFE, not just higher education…
1. Holy Trinity encourages you to try new things
Holy Trinity has A LOT of opportunities to get involved. Whether it’s a large selection of sports, the forensics team, drama, choir, one of the many student clubs, or all of the above, there are so many ways to involve yourself! Each team, group, or club is always looking for new talent and participation and, as a result, you may find yourself doing something you’ve never done before like acting in the school play, learning to play baseball, or singing in the school choir.
Life after high school constantly calls you to step outside of your comfort zone as well. Whether it’s moving to a new state, studying an unfamiliar subject, or being asked by your boss to do something you have no experience with, you know from your time at Holy Trinity that you can not only survive this, but also may discover a new passion or hidden talent you did not know you had!
2. Holy Trinity prepares you to juggle a busy schedule
All these opportunities to get involved at Holy Trinity are great, but they also keep you very busy! Time management is an important life-skill, one that I had to develop when I was at Holy Trinity. When I went to college, the time-management skills I had learned at Holy Trinity gave me a HUGE advantage over my classmates who were very overwhelmed with their new college schedules.
Transitioning to life after high school is stressful enough. With the skills I perfected early on at Holy Trinity I was able to put my focus where it was really needed, and leave a lot of that unnecessary stress behind me (which comes in handy with the many unavoidable stresses of college and the workplace!)
3. Holy Trinity teaches the importance of taking time, everyday, to pray
Whether it was Mass, the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Praise & Worship, Adoration, or a Faculty Reflection on the readings, everyday after first period we would assemble as a community in the chapel (or the CSR at the old Vandiver building!) and give time to the Lord. Whether I realized it or not, that time made a huge difference in the rest of my day. It’s a beautiful thing, but when you give the Lord His time, he makes sure you have the time you need to get through everything in your day.
I learned this the hard way in college when I initially fell out of the habit of setting aside a time for prayer every day. I couldn’t figure out why I always seemed so tired, anxious, and stressed out! But when I made the commitment to get back into that habit of daily prayer, like I had when I was at Holy Trinity, everything changed for the better.
Life after high school and college can be busy. There’s always a long list of things I could be doing. But my experience of daily prayer at Holy Trinity instilled in my soul the desire for regular prayer, so much so that when I didn’t take that time I felt the difference! Ultimately, it was having prayer as a part of my high school schedule that made it possible for me to include it in my daily routine as an adult as well.
4. Holy Trinity reminds you that it’s possible for work to be fun
I took some demanding classes while I was a student at Holy Trinity that were intensive not only because of the difficult material but also because there were only three or four students in the class. We worked HARD in those classes, covering lots of material at a quick pace, but I also have distinct memories of those intense class discussions turning into great conversations that were engaging, personal, and extended beyond the classroom.
I remember laughing hard in an AP European History class as we compared the historical events to current events at our school. The conversation was not only engaging, it also made the material we were learning come alive.
While we were taking the work and learning seriously, we were not taking ourselves too seriously, and that made the whole experience an enjoyable one. As a result, I remind myself frequently that work does not have to be toilsome and working environments do not have to be depressing. That is something that has served me well both in college and the workforce as I remember that life is too short to go through it without smiling!
5. Holy Trinity teaches you that feedback is a positive thing
With the small class sizes at Holy Trinity it is impossible to simply “fly under the teacher’s radar.” Whether you’re struggling with a subject, or breezing through it, teachers notice and are always striving to help you be better. It doesn’t matter if you earned an “A” on an assignment, it is still covered with comments about things you can improve upon.
This taught me the very important life-lesson that feedback and criticism does not mean that I’m a bad or stupid person, but actually indicates that someone has noticed me and, because they care, has reached out to help me improve.
Life after high school is filled with many daily reminders of all the things I could be doing better. While I could tear myself down during these moments, my time as a student at Holy Trinity taught me to see these as opportunities for improvement and not opportunities to fall into the nasty cycle of negative self-criticism.
6. Holy Trinity creates the habit of taking your appearance seriously
Yes, it’s true that I might have rolled my eyes everyday as I got dressed in my uniform, but it’s also true that there’s a part of me as an adult that wishes that I knew exactly what I was supposed to wear for work when I got up in the morning! In a strange way, I miss that plaid skirt every now and again.
Wearing a uniform everyday, and being held to the dress code standards, taught me that my appearance is noticed by others. When I’ve groomed myself in an orderly and professional way, other people not only take me more seriously, I find that I take myself more seriously as well. Not only that, but I have more confidence in what I do and say!
This has served me well in the real world, because sometimes when I do not feel entirely like a real “adult” yet, I can still be confident when interacting with others, which brings me to my next point…
7. Holy Trinity teaches you how to work with adults and people older than yourself
The truth of the matter is that when you are hired for your first job you will likely be the youngest person working for that company. It’s also true that there’s a certain part of you that might still not be convinced you’re a “real” adult yet.
My four years at Holy Trinity helped me gain confidence in myself when interacting and speaking with adults and people older than myself because I saw that what I had to say or contribute was genuinely valued by them. Again, the small-school environment allows teachers to really get to know their students and vice versa. There were several teachers I had throughout high school that I would still consider to be my mentors. My teachers always treated me with genuine respect and would ask for my input or opinion on matters as varied as current events or ways to improve the school.
That gave me so much confidence in myself as well as real experience with having a genuine impact on an institution I was a part of. I was able to use this experience later on to land a really incredible summer job while I was still in college, and knew that it was largely Holy Trinity I had to thank for that opportunity.
8. Holy Trinity reminds you just how superficial divisions between people can be
What many people do not know about Holy Trinity is just how diverse our students are. When I was a student at Holy Trinity I had friends that were from a variety of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. However, this was never something that even crossed my mind as a student because I thought of them as just my friends. Period.
I often remarked to people as a student that Holy Trinity was too small and close of an environment to create divisions along racial or economic lines. No one at the school would have any friends if we drew superficial divisions like that! Besides, the school uniforms meant that what I saw when I looked at the student sitting next to me was not a zip code or a social status but just another classmate and friend. They were just like me in many ways, working through the same homework assignments and activities that I was.
In a culture that often feels very divided on so many issues, it is even more important to recognize that the incredibly superficial divisions we can draw between people are just that: incredibly superficial. I’m grateful to Holy Trinity for helping me realize in a very tangible way that there are always more ways I’m similar to people than ways I am different.
9. Holy Trinity teaches you how to live with (and even LOVE) other people
One of the greatest benefits of Holy Trinity is its small size that allows all of its students to become close. But this closeness also means that sometimes you can rub someone else the wrong way! What Holy Trinity taught me to do was face these conflicts with others in a mature and charitable fashion, like an adult.
Adults have to learn to live with people they may sometimes find irritating. They might even have to share an office or a last name with them! In those situations, creating a hostile environment or relationship is simply not an option, just like at Holy Trinity. My four years as a student taught me not just how to tolerate, but also how to LOVE people I found myself occasionally at odds with.
The greatest testament to this is the fact that the one classmate who consistently got on my nerves my freshman year of high school eventually became my best friend. At any other school, that would not have happened because it would have been easy to avoid her rather than working things out. But if that had been the case for me, I know I would never have gotten to know her and would have missed out on a lifetime friend!
10. Holy Trinity teaches you to cultivate authentic community
The best way to describe the community I belonged to at Holy Trinity is “FAMILY.” It was the word written on the undershirt worn by all student athletes. It was the way I felt when the whole student body would enthusiastically sing our school song after every mass, sporting event, or extracurricular activity. It was the sense of true belonging I sensed knowing I had really “found my place.”
It wasn’t until I graduated from Holy Trinity that I realized just how rare places like that are becoming in the world. So many people struggle with deep-seated isolation and a lack of real and authentic relationships with others. The involvement and close community I found at Holy Trinity, animated by the school’s commitment to Gospel values and belief that the PERSON is at the center of education, taught me that real and authentic relationships are possible. True, they’re not always perfect (they are human relationships after all!), but they are still within reach.
Knowing such community is possible has helped me to go out and seek it wherever I find myself, and to cultivate it in places where it might currently be lacking. The confidence and communication skills I gained as a Holy Trinity student have given me the skills to make this desire a reality. It is one of the greatest fruits of my Holy Trinity education, though it’s not something you’ll see written on my high school transcript or diploma.
It’s those “hidden” fruits that make a Holy Trinity education truly special and one-of-a-kind. I would not trade my four years there for anything. I know I am the person I am today because of the education I received there.
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It’s quite true that an education from Holy Trinity is unlike any other and will be something that forms a student for a lifetime. If you or someone you know would benefit from a Holy Trinity education, we encourage you to reach out to our Admissions Director Isabelle Brogan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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About the Author
Alyssa Snyder is a proud alumna of Holy Trinity Catholic High School, graduating from the Class of 2013 as the Valedictorian. She currently works at Holy Trinity teaching Speech and Senior Theology and serving as the Dean of Student Services and Campus Ministry.