I was homeschooled since the seventh grade. This made my college application process interesting to say the least. I went on a tour of a large college near Atlanta, which was nice. A few weeks later, my mom got a call requesting some more paperwork for my application—paperwork I didn’t have because I was homeschooled. Nowhere on their website did they say they needed this particular paperwork. Oh! And they needed all of it within 30 days. With this news, I resolved myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be starting college in the fall and would have to reapply for the next semester.
Then, got a call from YHC saying they had accepted me, so I went to the College for a tour. I expected many other prospective students to be there just like at the other college. That was not the case. It was just me. My parents and I walked into the Admissions Office, and so many staff members came out to greet me by name with smiles on their faces. They all said they had been waiting for me to arrive. I honestly felt as if this was the highlight of their week, and they certainly made it the highlight of mine.
After we had toured the campus, they took us around to meet other staff and faculty. I remember one in particular—Sean. It’s a testament to the College that I don’t remember Sean’s title or even his last name. He wanted everyone to simply call him Sean. When we met with him, he greeted us with a smile and pulled a chair out of his office into the foyer to where my parents were sitting on a bench and where I was nervously walking around.
We didn’t go into his office. He came to us. There was no desk between us. As I recall from my time in the Teacher Preparation Program, a desk can be negative space. It is essentially a barrier between the parents and the teacher, or in this case, staff member. It makes the parents feel belittled because the person they are talking to is protected and, in some ways, elevated by the desk. With Sean, we didn’t have that problem. We were own equal terms. He talked to my parents—I don’t remember about what. However, what I do remember is that through Sean’s tone, body language
, and actions, he was there to help us. He wasn’t someone who expected us to give him paperwork in less than 30 days. He talked my parents through the process and alleviated some of their fears. My dad even made the comment that he thought I was more prepared for college than he had been.
I think it was that meeting with Sean—more than perhaps even START Orientation—that made me want to come to YHC. This is now my fourth year at the College, and I’ve found that all of the faculty and staff still embody that same character.