Cedarville University is a successful school that wonderfully mixes academic achievement with personal development. First, I will share a bit about the whole school (pros and cons), and then move on to the incredible experience I have been having in the graduate level program through Cedarville's School of Pharmacy. Our school may be small, but we perform with (and beat) many other larger schools in competitions. Our engineering team has won multiple world championships, our debate team achieves national rankings, our pharmacy program is a leader for classroom learning; the whole school has a wonderful academic environment. But, Cedarville does not solely focus on learning. They also care about students as human beings. I have been invited a number of times to a professor's house for dinner, or a movie night in the classroom. There are so many activities and opportunities to be involved with other people; if you are willing to put the work in, you don't have to worry about feeling alone. The campus is beautiful, and the buildings are all very well maintained. I can go for a walk, and be in awe of the beauty of nature. It is very safe on campus (and in the whole Cedarvile area), so you can go just about wherever you like. I will mention that Cedarville is a very conservative Christian campus. This drew me in just as much as the rigorous academics. We have chapel every day, which is unique. It is hard to find any gathering of multiple majors into a single room , let alone every weekday. The main focus of the school is to glorify God, and to spread the Testimony of Jesus Christ. The school works very hard to foster this kind of ethic in each student, and provides plenty of resources. There are a few downsides to this school. It is very conservative, so some people may not enjoy all of the rules. Some people think they are too strict. I absolutely don't mind them, but you would have to speak with more students to get an idea, or even read the school handbook for yourself. Also, we are not perfect. Sometimes the culture is to look like a "normal" Christian that has no struggles. But, if you come to a weekly dorm meeting, or accountability group (numerous opportunities), you will find that we are all broken people. Also, I have seen some comments on other websites about Cedarville not liking gay or transgender individuals. We do our best to make everyone feel at home here, especially since this is the first time many students are going away from where they grew up. We accept you for who you are, in the same way that Christ accepts us for who we are. Will there be those people who might not like you? Maybe, but don't hate the school on account of a couple people who are clearly wrong. I will also say that any time you are vastly outnumbered, it is normal to feel out of place. That's not what we want; we want everyone to feel safe to be who they are. For the undergraduate programs, I see a lot of white students. Luckily, in the graduate program, we are much more diverse, and I feel a great benefit from that. It would be great if the undergrad classes were more diverse as well. Now for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. I am in my first professional year, and it is great. I don't know how other pharmacy school are, but this has been my hardest year yet. I know that they say after high school, classes will get harder, but you never really understand what that means until you try it. I loved AP chemistry in high school, and got a 5 on the exam with no trouble at all. That was fun and relaxing for me. At Cedarville, there is so much to do. For example, on an average day for one class, we read about 25 pages, and every word is testable material. We learn about 30 new drugs ( and almost everything about them) for one day. I know a lot of pharmacy schools will be similar, but it is an immense amount of material. At times it feel like too much, and I get a bad (sometimes failing) grade. I just stay determined to keep going, and try my best the next time. Since it is so difficult, we have great support. Professors are almost always available, and are so happy to see students come in. The professors have your best interests at heart, and they all want you to succeed. Sometimes, they learn my name before I learn their name. They care about all students, and it has been great studying here. For classes, we do something called team based learning (TBL). We will read the material before coming to class, have an individual readiness assessment test (iRAT), where they see how much we learned, and then we get into groups (assigned based on personality, and last the whole year) to take the team readiness assessment test (tRAT), to help each other with the material. We learn so much better by working through it together after already struggling through it before class. Then, we go over the answers as a class, and the professor goes over the parts the class struggled with the most. It is an incredibly enriching process that lets you learn so much more than just sitting and listening all day. However, the first year is a mixture of TBL and regular classes, so it feels overwhelming. They structured it like that so we are more prepared for the next two years of class. It is encouraging to hear about how well my classmates do. We send students to different pharmacy competitions, and they almost always come back with awards. Last year, we swept a state SSHP competition (first place in two separate events), which was the first time that happened in the organization's history. This year, our school it in the top 20 of a national ACCP research competition. I can't wait to see how well we finish out! In conclusion, I love it here. We work as teams, collaborate and share with each other to do our best. We are competitive, but we do so much better working together. The friendships I am making here will last me a lifetime. Because of this school, I feel more and more like I am really a pharmacist. By graduation, I feel like I will be fully prepared to integrate in the workforce and bring my talents and knowledge to the health field.