I remember how unprepared I felt as I began my freshman year at the Christian college I attended.
The four years I spent in high school can probably best be described as "coasting". The public high school I attended was probably not known for it's high academic standards. While I was in some "honors" classes, the fairly high GPA I received was not so much a reflection on my study skills as it was on the "academic bar" being placed fairly low.
The one thing that I had going for me was that I did realize that college was going to be a whole different deal. I was fortunate enough to make friends, one in particular, who cared enough about me to "encourage" me to study. Many hours were spent in the campus library trying to keep up with the demands of the new intimidating document for each class called a "syllabus". I don't think I knew what a syllabus was before my freshman year began, but it didn't take me long to appreciate that if I could keep up with the work outlined on the syllabus, I would probably survive.
There were late nights of cramming for exams and papers that went to the last minute, but there was also a constant stream of supportive and godly friends who were in the same boat. While I have wonderful friends today, I doubt I'll ever have the same type of relationships as I had in college. Late night talks that dealt with a variety of subjects, most of which had nothing to do with school. There were conversations that helped fine tune my debate skills and thought process, with people who I respected.
I also can recall a communion service we had in campus chapel where the presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong that I couldn't help but notice. I now regret the many spiritual growth opportunities that I didn't take the time to pursue during my college years.
I have great respect now for my classmates who were stronger spiritually than I was, individuals who took both their studies and their faith seriously. I think of some of my friends from college and the list of credentials they have range from company partner, to doctor, to not-for-profit fundraiser, etc. It's encouraging to have friends who are serving the Lord in different ways. I think of one who is on the mission field in Ecuador as a surgeon and another who has traveled to Africa on short term mission trips.
I believe the environment in which we spend our college years can help shape who we will become. I now realize that those four years likely helped to challenge my thinking about what God could accomplish through me. As I look back now, I view my time at the Christian college I attended as one of the foundational elements of my adult Christian life. It was a time of both academic and spiritual challenge. It was a time when the bar was raised significantly for me in terms of expectations both spiritually and academically. The friends, faculty and coaches who surrounded me for those years bring back memories of patience, respect and encouragement, coupled with high expectations. For me, the Christian college experience was like "Life Prep 101".
The Christian Connector, Inc.
Christian College Grad - Class of 1987