But Seriously, College is Strange

College is more than fun

It’s 7:06 (Central Time!) on Saturday night; I’ve been home from school for three whole days now. I’m sitting on the floor in my living room, munching Christmas cookies and watching Murder She Wrote with the family. Just kidding. I’m not actually watching Murder She Wrote. I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. I just throw in a snide comment every now and then.

Well. What to write.

I could write about a lot of things: about Sedrick, the Greek genitive plural, and demons; about cranberries, imprecatory prayers, and car accidents; about caroling with the Crowites, not dancing, and eating the Vans’ ice cream; about playing Imaginiff, cat costumes, and He’s Just Not That Into You; about celebrating with Jenna, non-alcoholic beverages, and chocolates (and we have a lot more to celebrate when we get back!!); about Bojangle’s, traffic, and “beautiful” fog; about playing Curses, being a rap star, and calling Jenny “Hepzibah”; about accidentally welcoming guests with insults and wine glasses; about archeology finals, “river people,” and mental maps; about being home, sleeping, and eating.

I could write about those things. But I’m not going to, not right now.

College has been fun–loads of fun. Last weekend was especially fun, because I had nothing to do except study for exams, and since I have a (probably terrible) studying-for-exams-policy (namely, “If I haven’t learned it in these past few months, I don’t deserve to know it for the exam…so we’ll just let what happens happen”), I felt free to just relax and be friendly and stuff finally (hence the Bojangle’s, multiple games, caroling, and celebrating with Jenna). I think I’ve previously expressed to you on this blog the essence of many of our crazy fun shenanigans that go down, and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about them. Now that I’m home, I intersperse many conversations with “Bahaha! The other week we … .” (And yes. I DO laugh with “bahaha”s like a sheep, except for when I snort.) These stories invariably lead to a family member remarking, “It sounds like you have a lot of….fun at college.” Sometimes they say “fun” with a question in their voice, subtly questioning the sanity and/or normalcy of  these “fun” happenings. However, their opinions of the nature of my fun have little to do with the topic at hand; the fact is that I have managed to get through an entire semester of college telling you about nothing other than fun.

The thing about internet communication is that I can make all y’all believe basically whatever I want you to believe about what I’ve been doing these past seventeen weeks. Mainly what I’ve wanted you to believe is that my life is exciting! My life is full of friends and admirers! My life is fun! My life is popular! I betcha you wish you had my life, too! Even the snippets I gave earlier in this post about the other topics I could have chosen to grace you with were carefully crafted to subtly deliver this message: look at me doing fun things with all the people who like me because I am just a totally great person. Also, I am probably super attractive. Now I will share this blog post on facebook and get a lot of likes, because remember I am very popular and stuff like that. Slowly, sneakily, I imagine for myself another identity, a person who has all the virtues I want her to have and none of the faults. I write about her and her friends and her adventures, and I pretend I am her, and I tell myself the very real sins and struggles and failures I’m facing are the illusion.

I don’t like that policy, y’all. I really don’t.

So I want to take a break tonight from the fun stories and share with you instead some of the serious stuff that went on this semester. Because yes, I did learn some things at college. Whoda thunk, right?

  1. God’s Word is a priceless, priceless treasure, and I need to read it.      I was raised in a Christian home, so you’d think I would have this down by now. However, I’ve been at a Bible college, so it makes sense that I should realize it here if I haven’t yet. The first time this lesson hit me specifically was at the very beginning of the semester was in my Greek class. “Why study Greek?” Dean Childs asked us eager-faced students. “Because we serve a God who put His infinite wisdom into finite human words for us.” Wow, I thought. If that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is!
    Another instance that really brought the supremacy of God’s Word out to me was during the missions conference in November; because the theme was the persecuted church, the activity committee organized the student body into small groups and scheduled us to hold secret meetings around campus, akin to what believers in other countries have to do. One of the girls who came was given the task of bringing a page of the Bible. During our mock-church meeting, we read some of it. Not all of it, because it was cold outside, we all had other things to do, and besides, we had heard that part before. I couldn’t help but think at the time that if we were in a situation where we really were being persecuted–instead of just sneaking around pretending we were–and if this is really all the Bible we had–instead of having enough Bibles lying around to tear pages out of an old one for the sake of a learning activity–we probably wouldn’t have stopped every few verses to ask, “Do you guys want me to keep reading?”
    Do you want me to keep reading what God said to you? Or are you getting cold and bored? Shall I keep going? Or do you need to go do homework and check facebook?
    The final place this lesson hit me–and it was painful–was in my gen psych class. Toward the end of the semester, during the unit on social psychology, Mrs. Hammons had us take a survey on our usage of social media. One of the questions she asked was, “How many times a week do you check a social media account before having your personal devotions?” I stared at the paper for a minute and tried to think of a way to make my answer sound better than it was. I couldn’t. 7, I wrote. 7 times a week. Every single day. Even after being struck by the fact that God Himself condescends to speak to me in my language; even after pondering the way Christians around the world are starved for His word. After thinking about that, I chose to do homework and check facebook over spending time with the Bible.
    If that isn’t sinful, I don’t know what is.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m confessing this on the internet. I think it’s because I’m afraid of becoming completely caught up with having fun and chasing popularity and collecting drama and snarfing Christmas cookies. I want to grow and be sanctified. Don’t assume that because I’m at Bible school that everything is always right in my heart.  So, for the seven of you out there reading this, would you pray for me over Christmas break? The cookies are good and the family fun is good and the reading for pleasure is good, but not as good as God’s word. Would you pray for me when I go back to school? Making friends is good and working is good and getting high grades is good, but not as good as God’s word. Would you send me a message next time you see me on facebook and ask me where I am in devotions?

You may have noticed that I just wrote a list of one item. I have more for sometime, but I need to stop for now. I need to go read my Bible.

Have a merry Christmas, y’all. God is with us!


3 thoughts on “College is more than fun”

  1. Also, (so I may have been a tad bit hasty with my ending), THIS MAKES ME DESPERATELY WISH TO TELEPORT YOU ALL TO MY HOUSE. Just for, like, a week. Or a day, if that really seems too drastic.

  2. Betsy, thanks for your honesty. Sometimes its really easy to put up a persona online or offline and not let other people know your failures and struggles. Thanks for being brave and thanks for being real. You are not alone. I struggle with the same. Why are other things more important than Jesus? I say that he’s the most important thing in my life, but do I act it? Praying for you my friend!

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