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How Finding, Selecting, and Attending Private School Is Like Baking a Cake

By: Jonathan Pederson ’15

Private school? Cake?

How are they related?

Education is very much like making a cake. After all, having the right ingredients will make a proper cake, just as having a proper education will make the right path to success. So let’s bake a cake today! First, we need to find the right recipe with the right ingredients – in other words, search for the private school that will be the right fit for you. Second, we need to utilize those ingredients to bake a cake – so we will discuss what tools a private school such as R-MA provides students to succeed. Finally, we need to enjoy the cake – and we’ll do that by looking over a few success stories our proud alumni tell us about.

First, let’s find the right ingredients. Just as you have to have the perfect ingredients to make your favorite cake, a private school needs to provide the culture and programs you want and need in order to make it the right school for you. Some students wish to excel in sports, while others want strong academics. Some people fit best in a small environment, while others feel pressured by being a “big fish in a small pond,” so to speak. That is why it is a good idea to start browsing some cake magazines–that is, visiting private school web sites, talking with admission officers on the phone or in person, or requesting information to be mailed to you. 

Even better is to go to cake testing before big events. You get to sample each kind of cake to find the best recipe for you. Taking a tour of a school or shadowing a student (attending classes and/or staying in the dorms overnight) is like tasting the cake. That is why it is important to do these events before applying to a school. The more you try it out, the better you will feel when committing to a private school.Just as no one cake is liked by everyone, no one school is perfect for every student.

After we’ve found the right cake, it is up to each student to start combining the ingredients and baking his or her own cake. As a student, I think this is the most exciting part, because this is where we as students get to customize our own cakes. We can follow the recipe most people use, but if we think it needs a little more sugar, we can add an extra tablespoon. And what about the chocolate? I prefer to add a little bit of dark chocolate, but maybe you want some white. School is the same way,where the school’s individual programs or classes are the ingredients. Maybe you wish to gain a private pilot license. Maybe you’re halfway through your sophomore year, and all your friends took 20th Century Warfare first semester and now you are interested in it. (Thankfully, this class is an ingredient R-MA offers second semester!) Maybe you want to add a major ingredient and commit to learning German. Don’t worry, you can do that too!

Finally, we can enjoy the cake. We’ve searched for the right ingredients needed, we’ve worked hard baking the cake, now we can proudly share the cake with our friends. From our family to yours, let us share some of our cake –er, rather, success stories- with you. Alumni of R-MA have utilized the tools R-MA provided them to succeed in both college and in life. Just to name a few: 

  • Jared Purcell studies International Relations in Moscow University
  • Kiley Williams successfully founded and subsequently sold his own corporations
  • Eric Carlson is the President and CEO of a marketing company in Los Angeles

Whether you are still reviewing recipes, figuring out your ingredients, or testing cakes, the R-MA admission office “chefs” are ready to help. Give them a call (540-636-5484) or e-mail them today!