College Life Away from the Home

I was asked by a member of the Beacon Lights staff to prepare an article about college campus lifestyle. I agreed and this short expose is the result.

My first impression of college was one of alone-ness. I knew no one in any of my classes even remotely. In fact, only one other person from my denomination attended this college of 9,200. The classes begin as soon as the instructor arrives, eliminating prayer which has always been a part of school for me. It’s shocking how people disregard God. Swearing and cussing by both students and teachers alike is common practice. But these things have been experienced by every Christian attending a college. The difference between attending classes at a local college and going away to college lies mainly in dormitory life, which is enjoyable, but can be depressing at times.

Your 14’ by 13’ room becomes your study, your bedroom, really, your home. At first, it’s rather like vacation. You meet many different people, and experience a totally different lifestyle. There are few restrictions placed on you. No curfews, no one to tell you what to do, or ask you where you have been. Even the few rules are hardly enforceable. So, it seems like you are “on your own”.

Or are you? Because you have left the watchful eyes of parents and friends, have you left God at home too? Impossible. You find out soon how much you need your God. Prayer becomes a much more personal thing, and you really appreciate God’s friendship. You aren’t alone after all. This makes it easier to decline the invitations to all-night beer parties or to “smoke a joint” at noon.

If you really are a Christian, it will show. Your college friends wonder why you go home every weekend and attend church. And why do you always pray over your dinner?

But I don’t want to seem too negative. College life can be a richly rewarding experience, and is a fantastic opportunity to witness. Setting aside all argument for and against college, let me say to anyone seriously contemplating college, that, if you decide to go, know exactly what you believe and hold to it.