When I was a junior in high school, I applied and was accepted to the Templeton Honors College Summer Scholars Program at Eastern University. I was interested because of the program’s focus on the Great Books and discussion-based seminars, but I had no idea what to expect, and I hadn’t really thought much about college before applying. I was a little apprehensive and thought that maybe it would be over my head. I am quiet, and I was nervous about the prospect of sharing my thoughts in the seminars.
However, that week was life-changing. I learned so much about asking questions, having conversation, and listening to others. I learned about wisdom, knowledge, love, and most of all, about God. I was surrounded with fellow learners who quickly became my close friends. During the course of the week, we laughed together, read together, stayed up late writing papers and continuing our seminar discussions together, made music together, and prayed together. I learned more about writing papers in that week than I ever had before in high school.
I think my favorite part of Summer Scholars was the professors. They were so passionate about the subjects they were teaching, and their passion was contagious. They were also amazing people in addition to being amazing professors, and I could tell that if I were a student at this college, they would not only be my professors but also my friends.
There were several current Templeton Honors College students on staff at Summer Scholars who were there to help and to serve as mentors to us throughout the week. They talked with us, edited our seminar reflection papers, and prayed with us every night. I was struck by their intelligence and wisdom, but also by how fun-loving and enjoyable they were. They were passionate about learning and they really seemed to love being there, helping us learn.
I loved that week so much that the next summer before my senior year I applied and attended SSP again. It was another incredible week, and afterwards I knew for certain that I wanted to apply to the Templeton Honors College. I wanted to continue my education with these extraordinary professors. I wanted to continue to be a part of this conversation about beauty, wisdom, goodness, love, and God. I wanted to be like the current college students that I had met while at Summer Scholars.
So I applied. In fact, the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University was the only school I applied to because I was so confident that this was the place I wanted to continue to learn for another four years. I was not anxious at all about college, as so many other high school seniors are, and as many of my friends were. Through my Summer Scholars experiences, I had developed a relationship with the school, and more importantly the people there, and had discerned that Templeton was the place for me.
Now, as a sophomore in the Templeton Honors College, I am so grateful for the Summer Scholars Program and how stress-free it made my college decision. I strongly encourage high school juniors or seniors who are interested in discussing Great Books with great people and entering into this conversation to apply to the Templeton Honors College Summer Scholars Program. I promise that it will be an incredible experience, and it just might make your college decision so much easier.
Article by Mary Katherine Bucko (’19): Mary Katherine Bucko is a sophomore at the Templeton Honors College majoring in music with a concentration in classical voice. In her free time she enjoys reading British literature and poetry, visiting her favorite art museums, and singing renaissance polyphony.