I was discussing with a friend the other day about the importance and significance of, as Christians, going to a secular college, before going to a Christian one. If all we did was go to a Christian school or were homeschooled and then continued in our education by going to a Christian college, then we would be so sheltered, that by the time we got to the real world, we would still be immature and unready.
Personally, one of the biggest investments in my own education has been going to a secular college. This is somewhat because of the actual education part of it. However, it is mostly because of the life skills, practical witnessing, defending of my faith, and simply learning what the rest of the world thinks and how my faith is related to that.
I have grown in so many ways. However, if you are not solid in your faith, going into this kind of atmosphere could be very damaging. It is very easy to get into the wrong crowds, get the wrong friends, and begin doubting your faith. I am currently in a Philosophy class at my secular college and trust me when I tell you, they make everything seem like it is a direct fact, when in reality it is often circular reasoning with zero hard evidence to back up their claims.
If you are not someone who is easily swayed, then secular college for even just a year, is good. It will open up your thinking, ground you in your faith, and practically equip you to live your faith on a daily basis. I cannot speak enough to how this has formed and shaped me as a person.