Olivia

Just come as you are. People here really appreciate when you are truly and unapologetically yourself.

My absolute favorite class so far has been Spanish 1 with Ms. Clyburn. I looked forward to class every single day and dreaded the days that I didn’t have Spanish. I had never spoken a word of Spanish in my entire life, and she really helped kick start my Spanish career. She made every class interactive, fun, and always kept us on our toes. All the students in class became very close. We all supported each other and helped each other out when needed. I struggled a little in the beginning, but Ms. Clyburn did not hesitate to help me. She really showed that she cared about how well I did and did not stop trying until I was back on my feet.

Ms. Clyburn was also the head of my dorm in Coors, and that’s when I got the opportunity to really get to know her and become close with her. She became like a second mom to me. If I was ever struggling academically or had problems that I just needed to talk to someone about, I knew I could go to her, and she would immediately take time out of her day to sit down with me and really listen. She also gave the best advice—I would often go to her with any issue I had so she could guide me toward a solution.

Even though I don’t have her as a teacher or a dorm head anymore, I still keep up with her and tell her what’s going on in my life. I know I can still count on her and talk to her whenever I need to because those are the kinds of relationships you build at Saint James, the ones that last. You truly feel like students and teachers care about you and your well-being. It really feels like a second family, which to me is important because my other family is all the way across the country.

I would tell a new student to just come as they are. People here really appreciate when you are truly and unapologetically yourself. Saint James is a place where individuality is praised and you can really just be you. Also, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. There are so many opportunities here at Saint James. Try out for that sports team, audition for the play or the musical, and introduce yourself to new people. No one will put you down or make fun of you if you aren’t the best at something, or if you don’t know anything about that something that you’re trying for the first time. You should really just go for it because, who knows, you might really like it.

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