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A Word of Encouragement from an Aristoi Alumna

L. Castillo
I'm currently working and taking a gap year to further solidify my decision as to what I would like to pursue as a career. As weird as it sounds I am very eager to go back to school and I miss it even more when my siblings tell me about their day in school. I am currently applying to a few different schools such as Thomas Aquinas College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Ave Maria University to name a few and I plan to visit them throughout the course of the year. My plan is to be in college by next fall and major in humanities and minor in theology to become a teacher.

I am very grateful for Aristoi because it provided me with teachers who showed me what it looks like to be a good teacher and it inspired me to be one myself. Aristoi woke up a kind of excitement for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in me that I had not felt quite as strongly before. I learned the most in Aristoi when I learned how to participate in seminars using the Socratic method in class. This not only cultivated wonderful, exciting, and even hilarious discussions but it also set a foundation for some of the most wonderful friendships I have had and I am so grateful that I learned to argue and discuss important topics about humanity with my friends. I know the readings were hard for me at times and I could have taken the easy way out and just read a summary online but that always bothered me and ate at my conscience. I knew I would be missing out on the real beauty or authenticity of the original text we had to read. I knew the teacher picked what we had to read with a sincere intention to help us find the truth.
I pushed through and would try my best and I don't regret trying my hardest. This reminds me of one of my recent favorite quotes: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly” -G.K. Chesterton. As a perfectionist, one can imagine how helpful this quote has been for me. That is not to say do all your homework badly. I say it to encourage students to do your homework and all your reading to the best of your ability even if you don't understand all of it at first because what you are learning is worth learning even partially. That is why the teachers and fellow students are there to help you. I encourage all students to discuss seminar discussions outside the classroom with their friends and family. Do not be afraid to bring your questions or deeper thoughts to the seminar or to the lunch table, that is what makes your experience at Aristoi all the more fruitful. Have humility and courage, and pursue the True, Good, and the Beautiful.