Dylan Nolan ’18 writes about how his time at Xaverian prepared him for college. He recently ﬁnished his ﬁrst semester in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
While attending Xaverian I was frequently told that I would be well prepared for college, my first semester experience has proven this correct. I established myself socially and found academic success while pursuing my interests.
I moved into my dorm late August not knowing anybody, which I could have justifiably found terrifying. Yet I knew I would be ok because I had successfully made a similar transition into high school. As a Xaverian freshman I got to know people through Cross Country and the music program, and I learned that getting involved early is a great way to meet people. My first week at college felt like a year, as I was doing something completely new every waking minute. I went to the events hosted by my residence hall and ended up meeting a lot of people.
My university has 26,000 undergraduate students, so it was not hard to find people to hang out with. What Xaverian prepared me well for was determining if the people I met were the kinds of people who I really should befriend. Xaverian expects you to act in your own best interest, which taught me to expect that out of the people with whom I associate. At college there is nobody to make sure that you take advantage of the opportunities, let alone keep you from self-destructive behavior. I have found it extremely useful to hold myself to Xaverian’s standards. This helped me find a few close friends who share my goals and values.
Academics went well this semester. I started at an advantage because I was able to transfer in a semester worth of AP credits. Taking economics in high school was extremely useful because it spared me from having to take two semesters of a difficult class in college. The space opened up in my schedule by my AP credits allowed me to take accounting my first semester. I found the class much more interesting than I expected, and got in contact with the head of our masters of accountancy program to discuss enrolling. Had I not taken economics at Xaverian, I would not yet know that I have an aptitude and interest in accounting, and would not be able to plan my future to the degree that I currently am able.
Xaverian’s level of academic rigor prepared me to perform to my professor’s expectations. I found taking AP US and European history to be extremely helpful because they are structured similarly to college courses. They made me learn how I can do well in a lecture style class prior to getting to college. This helped me avoid the bumpy transition that some face, and allowed me to make A’s in all of my first semester courses.
Pursuing my interests during my time at Xaverian made my experience much more meaningful. Some of my best memories are from music program events and running practices, so I knew I wanted to explore my other interests in college. I have already joined the Jiu Jitsu club and I plan on getting more involved spring semester now that I am used to college life. I also continued developing my faith life during my first semester. I knew I wanted to find friends to go to church with, but all of my close friends are Presbyterians. Going to church with non-Catholics has led me to appreciate aspects of our faith that I had previously overlooked, but I do not think I would understand or appreciate them had I not been given an education in their purpose and origin.
I feel that my time at Xaverian prepared me to make decisions that led to my academic and social success during my first semester, and I anticipate continuing to experience the benefits of my Xaverian education.
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.