Laura Egan was in the inaugural class of Clapham's Upper School until her family moved to St. Louis. She is currently attending Wheaton College where she will be a Senior this year. She is majoring in English Literature and minoring in French. Her extracurriculars include Women's Chorale and The Tolkien Society.
We caught up with Laura to find out how her time at Clapham School helped shape her for her future.
What are some ways that your time at Clapham School helped prepare you for college?
Clapham’s focus on “joyful discovery” has helped me many times in college. Often I’m trudging through my work and just checking things off my to do list. But my memories of the times at Clapham when my teachers helped me to find pleasure in my work help me to look at my work in a new light and get back into that mindset of joyful learning.
What’s one thing you really enjoyed from the unique educational experience at Clapham School?
I think all the reading we did together started me on my way to studying literature in college. I loved reading aloud and discussing ideas together in class since it bonded us in our shared experience of a book, which is an experience I continue to seek out in my literature classes in college.
Do you have a favorite memory of a moment of learning, or connection with a teacher, book, or subject that you can share?
There were many great books I read for the first time at Clapham that have gone on to become some of my favorites, like The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis and The Tempest by Shakespeare. I also think my favorite reading experience was in 9th grade with Mrs. Bramsen (Miss Baker, then!), when we read Our Mutual Friend, which is an 800-page Dickens novel. It stayed interesting the whole time through because we made family trees and lists of characters we liked and disliked, interacting with the twists and turns in the book.
Can you share some plans or ideas on how you plan to serve Christ with your life and work?
I’m looking into working in either a library or at a school, so that I can share my love of reading. I’ve come to really believe in the power of literature to reveal greater truths about the world and about the God we serve, so I am searching for ways to help other people see that.
What advice would you give to your high school self?
I was and am a bit of a nerd - I really actually like school and things like Jane Austen and Latin, things that other people might laugh at. So, I suppose my advice would be, don’t feel like you have to hide your interest in things you actually enjoy, since those interests might go on to be a really core part of who you are.
What advice would you give to current high school students at Clapham?
One of my college professors recently shared with me a verse that I found very helpful,
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."
When I would get bogged down in grades and feedback and rubrics and deadlines, this verse helped me remember that the only thing that should really matter to me is doing well in my work in order to praise God for the gifts He has given me, and that takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.
The Clapham community is proud to call Laura one of our own, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to walk along side of her through a part of her career as a student and to see her grow in her love for learning and reading.