Testimonies | ECSP | Christendom College

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Testimonies | ECSP

Quotes from students who attended the 2017 Experience Christendom Summer Programs

I went to Christendom expecting to be surrounded by obsessively Catholic and nerdy people.  I could not have been more wrong.  I have never met more interesting college students or high schoolers before. I was able to experience a week so radically different from any I had ever experienced before.  The classes and professors could not have been more engaging or intriguing.  In my “end of the week evaluation,” I said that while I enjoyed being at Christendom, it was not the best week ever.  I take that back.  As I was leaving the camp, I began to realize how big of an impact the trip had on me and the other people there.  The ECSP was definitely the best week ever.  – Michael F., Colorado

The more I think about it and reflect on all that the ECSP gave me, the more I believe it really was the best and most life-changing experience I have ever had. I have been exposed to an atmosphere of humility, openness, holy ambition, and zeal for the Faith at Christendom, and through the wonderful professors, counselors, and campers’ example, my view of the world has been changed from a depressed resignation to a hopeful and cheerful outlook that I believe is here to stay. – Alane B., Illinois

I went to Christendom expecting the worst, as many seem to do. When I was told that I was going to be attending a summer program at Christendom College, my reaction was not that of enthusiasm, but rather one of, well anger. “Why Christendom!?” I asked not only myself, but also my parents who wanted me to attend the summer program. “You can’t achieve anything with liberal arts degree!”. As you can most likely tell, I had dreams of grandeur. My ultimate goal out of high school was to attend a school such as The Naval Academy, UC Berkeley or perhaps even Princeton. Little did I know I was going to be proven so very wrong about my vision of Christendom. First of all, I was greeted with open arms by my counselors and was shown such amazing kindness by all, this is a kindness shown by all at Christendom College. Secondly, the campus to my surprise, is beautiful, and perfectly placed next to the Shenandoah River. Thirdly, I became close friends with my fellow campers within only a week at Christendom, I originally pictured myself leaving with no friends at this program. Furthermore, Christendom helped me find my passion for the liberal arts, I have my teachers to thank for this. Lastly, but most important, Christendom helped me rekindle my faith. If it was not for Christendom, my faith life would surely be no good at all. Christendom taught me how to fall in love with God, this is the greatest gift I’ve been given from Christendom. Ultimately, I have never been happier being proved wrong. – Matthew R., New Jersey

I’ve had a Catholic education my entire life but never experienced something so motivating. That one week of Christendom showed me the importance of virtue and love Christ has for us. –  Joe C., Virginia

My expectations for the week were very high, but what I experienced was more incredible than anything I had imagined. I made friends from all over the U.S. and even friends from outside the country. The classes were phenomenal and I learned so much. – Amy N., North Carolina

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said: “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Throughout my week at Christendom, I saw this quote numerous times on t-shirts and posters which caused me to reflect on how greatness is much better and much harder to attain than being comfortable. Because of extended stay at Christendom, I was able to understand one of the Colleges’ highest purposes: to promote the true greatness of its students’ spiritual, academic, and social lives. If I had simply glanced at the website, I would have not been able to fully comprehend that aspect of Christendom’s mission. – Glen L., Virginia

The classes were the most enjoyable and interesting classes that I have ever attended. The professors are genuinely interested in what they are teaching, which is why the classes were actually enjoyable. I loved it because I got to experience the life of Christendom all in one week. The counselors welcomed all the kids right away, and they especially made me feel very comfortable to be there. I struggled at the beginning of the week with homesickness because I had never been away from home for more than a day before. Very quickly, the counselors helped me feel at home, but most of all, so many of my fellow campers became close friends. – Maria C., Virginia

I have lived right by Christendom my whole life, but it wasn’t until the Summer Program that I realized what a truly remarkable place it is. I went into it thinking that I probably wouldn’t attend Christendom, and I left with a newfound appreciation and desire to attend. Christendom is truly a gem of higher education, and now I can see that more clearly and profoundly. – Rose N., Virginia

ECSP displayed the true joy that can be found in life.  Christians are called to be radiating Christ’s joy and love and that is just want happened this summer.  When my religion teacher told me about it, I didn’t think very much about it but thought it would be a good thing to go.  At first I didn’t really think anything about ECSP, and I certainly didn’t think it would be the, “The Best Week Ever.” To be honest, I thought it was going to be a waste of my valuable time this summer with friends, but how was I wrong. – Caleb C., Michigan

I wasn’t looking forward to the ECSP when I boarded my plane — I simply assumed it was going to be an extremely busy week made dull by the other high-schoolers and counselors. Over the course of the program, my presumptions were absolutely shattered — and despite having written off Christendom as a potential college, I went back to Texas re-evaluating what a college education should provide (and, of course, the desire to apply). The teachers were charismatic and very knowledgeable, and the organization was mostly on point when it came to the events. Something in particular that struck me was the incredible faith of everybody involved, and having daily mass and adoration was a great blessing. For me, though, the best part of the experience had to be being around like-minded individuals in the other ECSP students. By the end of the week, I’d become friends with some amazing people, and it saddened me that the week had to end. – JP D., Texas

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ESCP and frankly I was expecting it to be like any other college informational experience. But, through the week I realized that ECSP had its act together and wanted to make as much of a difference as possible in its attendees’ lives. With my experience I loved it. The faith and family that surrounded me reminded me what community is all about. And, to end on the best note, the teachers and especially the camp counselors couldn’t have done a better job and couldn’t have been more lively and encouraging. – Seth M., Virginia

The week before my session, I had become apprehensive about attending for a week, and I was afraid I would be bored by classes and overwhelmed by a full schedule. But by the end of the first day, I was already so glad I had come. The professors were insightful and deeply rooted in their faith and interested in the subject they taught. The counselors were joyful and kind and enthusiastic and approachable. The ECSP is such an effective mode of persuasion and showed Christendom to be so much more attractive than I had imagined. In addition, I was able to make what I hope are deep, long-lasting friendships with many of my fellow students there, who share my faith and interests. – Genevieve U., Ohio

I can honestly say it was the best week ever. I loved everything about it. It was amazing to be surrounded by students just like me, all striving towards the same goals and sharing my beliefs. It left a big impression on me. Along with meeting all those amazing people, I got to have classes with remarkable professors who are so passionate about what they teach, which makes you so excited to learn. However, most of all I loved the counselors. They were fun, sweet, thoughtful, and God-fearing people whom I really hope to be like when I grow up. – Julia U., Ohio

I flew in from Chicago to this camp, not knowing what exactly to expect. However, I emerged from this week having had one of the best weeks.  The classes and teachers were both highly educational and enticing, especially with Plato and Aristotle being some of my favorite authors to read. The Christendom 101 classes taught by Mr. McFadden and Mr. Phillips gave me a new view on what to pursue in a college.  In fact, the classes gave me all the more reason to apply to Christendom this fall. The sports and dancing were a ton of fun and were great ways to get to know people. The counselors were a great help and were filled with joy.  Finally, Mass and adoration really connected everything together. This week, if not the best ever, was truly an amazing week. – Dominic K., Illinois

When I found out I would be attending the Experience Christendom Summer Program, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about the week to come. Not knowing what to expect, I chose to arrive with an open mind and hope for the best. From the first few moments on the campus, Christendom felt special and despite my initial apprehension as the days went by I grew to understand why I was meant to attend ECSP. I was thoroughly impressed by the counselors and professors who were so enthusiastic and beyond happy to be doing what they were doing. I admire their constant cheerfulness and optimism, and the smiles on their faces. I aspire to be like them. – Kerry C., Massachusetts

I had gotten lost from the faith and was just going through the motions and was planning on going to a non-Catholic college. However my one little week at Christendom impacted my life dramatically, which made me want to change for the better and filling me with the fire of the Holy Spirit to go after this. – Josie S., Michigan

Visiting Christendom and getting to know the professors, students, campus, and culture was an invaluable experience. The dedication of the teachers, joy of the counselors and fellow campers, and total commitment to academic excellence and the Catholic faith made me fall in love with the school! Before going to camp I was not even considering Christendom as a possibility in the next phase of my education. However, I quickly saw that this school has everything I am looking for in a college. My week at camp has put Christendom at the top of my college list. – Claire G., Florida

The “Best Week Ever” is a pretty weighty claim to make. When I signed up for the program, I was really excited- I knew I would enjoy it a lot. Christendom was already number one on my college search list, and I loved basically everything about it. However, could it really be the “Best Week Ever?” I mean, could this experience be better than any other weeks I’ve had in over 17 years? The answer, of course, is yes. I wasn’t expecting it to- I was expecting a great, a fantastic week. Not the best. But what I got was, in fact, the “Best Week Ever” that I have had in my life. Everything was amazing. – Peter L., Virginia

It’s hard to explain how my time at Christendom was so much more than just a college visit. It’s something that’s been, in a way, a part of my life for much longer than just a week. It’s been anticipated, hoped for, and dreamed about by me since I first heard of Christendom at the beginning of high school, then finally experienced, and now treasured as a beloved memory. Christendom College isn’t just Catholic by name — it is truly a Catholic culture, rich and beautiful, an image, or microcosm, if you will, of what all society should be like: transformed in Christ and permeated by His Glory. It only took a week for me to see how special Christendom College is.- Lilliana J., Louisiana

Taking classes with the professors was a very special experience.  The professors were so friendly and engaging, but simultaneously were intelligent and cared about the truth.  It meant a lot to me that they took the time to learn each of our names even for just a week.  They even ate lunch with us, and Dr. Keats came to our dodgeball game! – Audrey A., Pennsylvania

All of the classes were incredible, the activities were a blast and the atmosphere of spending a whole week with like-minded Catholics was great. This week helped me get an idea for what it would be like to attend Christendom and made me really want to experience this place as a full-time student. I want to go to Christendom because of the great classes, teachers and everything that goes towards getting a good Catholic education. – Alexandra M., Minnesota

Hearing about the ECSP, I concluded it will only act the same as any other camp where they only advertise the “You should come here” sign every single day. I concluded that they will go above the regular status quo of a Christendom life just to convince you even more to attend the college. At the end of the camp, ECSP proved these conclusions wrong. Deeply, Christendom wandered off the path of an advertisement camp and focused on you. The classes bestowed on you the truth about reality and yourself which leads to a “good life” as Socrates explained in Philosophy, my now favorite class. Concerning the teachers, they loved what they taught which showed that they really wanted to spend time teaching you. An advertisement would not simply go that far.  Furthermore, the Counselors proved an interest in you as a person not viewed you as another face in their job which meant a lot since they were there every step of the way. – Aedan T., Virginia 

The Christendom Summer Program was a truly amazing experience. When I first signed up to attend the program, I was fairly certain that I wouldn’t go to Christendom for my college years, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out a little more. The experience I had showed Christendom in a way I never would have seen it in if I had not gone to the summer program. The classes were engaging, the professors made the classes interesting. I now have an entire new, positive opinion on Christendom and am seriously considering going there next fall. – Joseph R., New Jersey

I got to do things I had never done before. It was the first time I’d sung in a full choir, the first time I’d ever sat in a classroom (I’m home schooled), first time being in a debate, and first time jumping from a tree at 20ft high into the river, and, of course, first time going to Christendom. – Erin B., Georgia

When I first heard of this program I thought that it would be so much fun, but I never truly believed that Christendom College would be an option for me. Luckily throughout the week I began to feel the Lord call me to this school. I absolutely fell in love with the campus and cannot imagine going anywhere else! I have never been around so many like-minded people who believe and love the Lord just as much as I do! I met the most amazing people during my week at Christendom and parting ways was difficult! – Jessica F., Tennessee

My twin sister and I were never really planning on going to the ECSP but when two female slots opened up we figured we might as well sign up. I have to admit even though I agreed to it I was dreading the week. I didn’t want to be away from home and the whole idea of it just really overwhelmed me. But after the actual experience I realized how thankful I was that I never refused to go in the first place. I have never made so many personal bonds with people in the course of one week, and the material I learned about in each of the classes left me in awe every single day. The week was beyond anything I had ever experienced, and I would give anything to go back and do it again. – Marielle B., Virginia

Christendom College was already one of my top priorities, so when I heard about the Experience Christendom Summer Program, I was immediately interested in attending. It was frightening at first, as all new experiences are, but it was truly impacting how fast everyone became friends. By the end of the second day, it felt like we had known each other for a long time! I loved and enjoyed every single second of it and was extremely sad to see it end. – Wendy D., Georgia

I didn’t know what to expect from the Christendom Summer Program. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it very much. I am very happy that my original thoughts were nothing close to the truth. I had such a great week at Christendom. I learned new things, I made new friends, I created new memories, and I became stronger in my faith. I got to have experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to have back home and for that I am so incredibly thankful. I was so sad that the week had to end and I wish it could have lasted a little bit longer. – Eva B., Alabama

I had heard that the ECSP had been a great experience from a friend, but it surpassed all my expectations on every level. Through all the fun, engaging activities and classes I came to know a group of really amazing people (counselors and other staff included), learned a lot of fascinating information, and took part in several fantastic activities, all of which helped me to have probably the best time of my life. I was very reluctant to leave at the end of the week, but I will definitely remember all of it as the best week ever. – Daniel W., Virginia

Initially, I was hesitant about attending the Summer Program. I had heard a lot of good things about it, but regardless, I was still a bit uneasy about the whole thing. I attend Seton School in Manassas, Virginia, so I guess I assumed that Christendom would be an exact replica of Seton. But I was very wrong. I met so many people at Christendom and made friendships that I hope will last forever! I tried something new and went out of my comfort zone, which months ago I would never have done. Whenever I think back on that week, I can’t help smiling. Even though I don’t know exactly what it is I want to do with my life, I now know more about myself than I ever did before. Whatever I end up doing with my life, I sure hope the community will be as inspiring and life-changing as the people I met at the Christendom Summer Program. –  Elisabeth B., Virginia

Going into the week of ECSP, I had no real expectations or ideas as to what the week would hold. In terms of preparation, the only thing I knew was that there was a sizeable amount of reading for classes that I did not necessarily find appealing, especially during summer hours. Upon arriving at Christendom, however, I knew immediately that the week was going to be amazing, and that short but poignant expectation was met and then shattered. The week simply flew by and I had no desire in leaving that Saturday after making so many genuine friendships and memories. Christendom will always hold a special place in my heart even if it is not God’s path for me to attend there.  – Joey I., Michigan

The ESCP Program really affected my life in great ways.  I attend a classical high school, and it was an amazing experience to really see the next level of that education with the Professors at Christendom.  They are clearly knowledgeable and dedicated to imparting wisdom to the students who are willing to listen and learn.  Although I was not sure if I wanted to apply to Christendom, or not, I have definitely decided that I am going to apply to the school and it is now one of the highest schools on my list. – Dalayna M., California

I really did not want to go to this camp. My parents forced me to. On the drive down there, I came with my friend, and the entire car ride we were dreading it. Once we got closer to the school we stopped at a gas station and begged her parents to turn around. They told us to have fun and the week would be over before we knew it. Well, they were right. The week went by so quickly and I had the time of my life. I met so many different, sweet, intelligent, and faithful people that, even now, I still talk to. The thing that shocked me the most was everyone’s kindness. From the counselors to the lunch lady to the new friends I made, everyone was so down to earth (and that is something that is very hard to find nowadays). I also loved meeting people from so many different parts of the country. I met people from Argentina, Mexico, Chicago, Denver, Pennsylvania, Florida, and etc. By the end of the week I was in tears to leave Christendom and all the new friends I made. I learned a lot from this experience and it helped me grow in my faith. – Lydia B., Virginia

When I was told that I was going to attend Christendom for a week during the summer  I thought it was going to be dull and not the best way to spend my holidays, however, as the days went by I realized that I was having a whale of a time in the campus. I made many new friends and enjoyed each moment, from the very beginning to the last minutes in tears. I was surprised by how the Catholic faith is lived in Christendom and by how enjoyable can the classes be with those awesome teachers. – Francisco U.,  Argentina.

I will be honest and say that I was not very excited to go to the Experience Christendom Summer Program. In fact, I was very apprehensive, nervous, and expectant of the worst. What I found was instead the best. I truly experienced a healthy Catholic environment that rejuvenated me and helped to actually examine my relationship with God. I had expected a stuffy rigid place, but I discovered a college that may be right for me. I loved the Catholic basis of the classes, the exhilarating dances and activities, and of course the daily Mass and adoration. Since that week, I have found myself reaching for my rosary far more often than I did when I first arrived at Christendom and falling in love with my faith all over again. – Teresa M., Georgia

I was not looking forward to the camp, but it ended up being one of the best weeks ever. I realized how much I need a place like Christendom in my life and how important it is to be well educated in today’s world. – Kathleen S., Nebraska

When I first arrived at Christendom I was hoping to have a fun weekend with new friends, but in no way expected to receive such a deep inspirational experience that I did. The weekend did not fail me in the entertainment aspect, but what really blew me away was the teachers and counselors who had such a love for their job. Their work inspired me to think like I hadn’t before, and just the whole atmosphere of the camp was centered around Catholic learning. – Paul B., Texas

When I first heard that I was going to be able to attend ECSP, I was overjoyed. I would be able to spend a week of my summer studying the subjects I enjoy the most such as History, English, and Philosophy. I expected this program to be all studying and no time at all for discovering if I would enjoy the liberal arts program. I’m very glad I spent my week in Front Royal. I was not only able to make new friendships with both students and counselors, I discovered that I would like to earn a liberal arts degree. I also experienced a surge in my faith. I found Christ in everything I encountered at Christendom and in response to this I now strive to look for Christ in everyone I meet. Attending ECSP has been the highlight of my summer. It truly was the best week ever and I will dare to be great! – David S., Virginia

I live forty-five minutes from Christendom College, and having all of my older siblings go to the school I thought I knew what the Christendom experience was going to be like. I was not sure if I wanted to go to the program, but many of my cousins who had gone to the ECSP, and my older brother who was a counselor, convinced me to go. I agreed and surprisingly, it was one of the best weeks I have ever experienced. All of the professors were amazing. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what Christendom was like, but it was so much better than I expected. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for school to start so I can visit Christendom again. – James H., Virginia

At first, I was very nervous and rather wary about the ESCP, despite wanting to go. I wasn’t sure if I’d fit in and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the college or the other students. Yet immediately upon arrival, I found myself welcomed with open arms by the counselors and even my fellow students. I made friends quickly and just as rapidly fell in love with the school. The classes were amazing: they pulled me into the subjects which were being taught and incited a strong interest in what I was learning. Attending daily Mass and adoration made me love the experience even more, and the activities planned kept us students happily busy. When the day to leave arrived, I was surprisingly uneager to go home. I promptly found myself missing everything about Christendom. I made life-long friends during my week there and I found myself incredibly eager to apply to the college. – Michaella O., California

I had already known I wanted to go to ECSP after my friend had attended and loved it, but as the time drew near for my departure to the program, I found within myself two emotions: excitement and nervousness. I was excited to get a better and more real picture of Christendom and yet I was nervous about the classes and other participants. What would they be like? Would I really love my time with the people there?  After just one morning of classes with the professors, I knew all my worrying had been for nothing. They were so warm and friendly and their classes were engaging and lively! During the program I had the opportunity to eat lunch with two of the professors which was neat because even one-on-one they were approachable and amiable. If there was anything I’d say to someone out there who is both excited and nervous…it would be…don’t waste time worrying at all, you’re going to absolutely love every second of it! – Elizabeth B., South Carolina

It was one of the best weeks of my life.  Before coming to the program Christendom was probably number 6 on my college list, but now that I have attended ECSP, Christendom is my top choice! After going to the classes and listening to Mr. Phillips and Mr. McFadden I have absolutely fallen in love with the liberal arts. – Martha T., Massachusetts

When I decided to go the Experience Christendom Summer Program I had no interest in going to Christendom. I assumed that I would go to a liberal, secular college and that if I went to that program I would be slightly more equipped to defend my morals and my faith. However, once at Christendom from the first philosophy class I knew that I wanted to go there. Through the amazing classes, interactions with peers, who want to help me to become a better person, and the counselors’ encouragement and support I honestly had the best week ever. I did not realize how wonderful it was until I came back home. At Christendom I discovered not only what type of education I want, but also what type of person I want to be and what I need to do to become that person. – Sarah L., California

They can’t all be wrong, can they?