Covenant’s 2017-18 volleyball team. The author is furthest on the right.

New to Covenant:
A Student’s Perspective

Over the last few years, we have welcomed between five and ten new students into our Upper School each fall. Many wonder what it is like to be a new student in a tightly knit community with such small class sizes. We recently caught up with one of our new students, Sarah Miller, to hear about her experience moving from homeschooling to joining Covenant’s Upper School. Sarah joined the Covenant family this school year (17-18) as an eleventh grader and has already become a vital part of the community as a player on our our volleyball team and a member of our chamber choir. Here is what Sarah had to say about finishing her educational journey at Covenant:

What most surprised you in your experience at Covenant?

“I think I was most surprised by the community and willingness of people to welcome [in] a
new student. Never having had to deal with a huge social aspect as a homeschooler, I
had no idea what to expect and was worried that I would always be on the outside
because of how well everyone knew each other. I remember the first day anticipating
maybe only talking to my class, but was amazed how many people went out of their way
to welcome me. They would ask how my day was going and if I needed any help figuring
out where things were.”

What was most challenging about the transition to Covenant?

“For me the most challenging part of transitioning to Covenant was probably just getting
used to seeing new people all the time and being in an unfamiliar place. Even as welcomed
as I was, I couldn’t immediately know everyone’s name and what they enjoyed or what
cool things they had done in years past. Those are all things that take time and patience
that at first, I didn’t think I would have. I also didn’t know who would have my back or
want to listen to me and be my friend. My classmates were amazing at not just
welcoming me, but also taking time to get to know me and acquaint me with the school
and the other kids in it. The Dean of the Upper School would also constantly ask me if
there was anything he could do to make the transition easier, and it was nice to know
that people cared how I was doing and [put] time into making sure things were going
well for me.”

What in your opinion makes Covenant unique?

“I think Covenant is unique in that because of its size you really get to know people
better, and the community is much closer. I talk to kids from the senior class all the way
down to seventh grade. Because of that I get to hear all the interesting things going on
in all the other classes! I also had the opportunity of taking a Calculus 1 dual enrollment
class from Messiah. The professor came to the school, and I really appreciated that
Covenant made something like that available to its students. I also love that every day
we take time to praise God, whether that be in the morning during matins, where we
read quotes from the Bible or devotionals and sing, or saying the Lord’s Prayer after
lunch. The school went out of [its] way to make sure that time was dedicated to God
and that within our learning, He is still present.”

How does Covenant influence your life outside of academics?

“The sports! I have really enjoyed going to soccer and basketball games. Hanging out
with school friends there and cheering on our teams helps me feel a part of the
community. This year I was a part of volleyball, which had me at practice four days a
week working beside the other girls and learning what in the world I was supposed
to be doing. [That] not only helped me get to know those girls well, but it made me a more
confident person. I learned how to take ownership of my mistakes, but also how to then
put them aside for the next play and do my best going forward.”

What would you say to a student your age transferring to Covenant?

“I would tell the student to first take it day by day. There are so many wonderful things to
experience here and sometimes, as transferring to any school is, it can be
overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone, teachers or students. You
will know the ropes in no time. Also involve yourself in as much as possible, whether in
house, the school newspaper, or sports you will not only get to know people better, but
also become a part of the school’s history. When you first start, focus on the positive
things you can find. The ones that make you smile or laugh! It can be easy to fall into
only thinking about the hard parts, academics or social ones, and not the wonderful
memories you are making and the friendships you are forming.”

For any families interested in enrolling at Covenant, we invite you to come visit our school! Contact our Director of Admissions, Katie Broeg, at 717.540.9885 ext. 232 or to learn more about Covenant or to schedule a tour.