The Problem of Future

Posted Posted in Student Culture, Trends & Issues

The problem of future is simple — it’s not now.

And today’s student has a hard time grasping much that is “yet to come.” It’s not that they’re dumb — in fact we know that quite the opposite is true of them. But with so much going on in this very moment, it’s hard to think much beyond it.

They understand the here and the now — because they’ve grown up in an “instant” culture.

About a year ago I wrote a post entitled: Overcoming a Culture of Instant Gratification. In it I talk about needing to introduce students the discipline of slow. Why slow? Because in slow — and only in the slow of life — can some things truly grow and take shape in the ways that they need to.

The Voices They Hear

Posted Posted in Student Culture, Trends & Issues

Parents play a powerful role in the development of their children.

Seems obvious to say, yet I think we can tend to forget this truth when we work with students on college campuses — primarily because we don’t see parents, just students.

Sure, from time to time our students might bring their parents up in conversation. But it can be all to easy to forget that the ways in which our students think, believe, and live are without doubt a product of the ways and environments in which they were raised.

It’s true for all of our students — those who are thriving and those who are not.

How Will You Talk Faith & Politics With Students this Election Year?

Posted Posted in Big Ideas & 'Best Of'

Two months from today, most of our students will have their very first chance to vote in a Presidential election.

This is one of many “firsts” that they’ll have the chance to experience while on campus — away from home, and away from those who have been their most trusted voices and advisers for much of their lives.

With such a big decision looming, who will step in and offer some assistance in the decision-making process?

‘Stuck in a Moment’ That They Can’t Get Out Of

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Transitions

The beginning of the school year — it’s one of our busiest times of the year.

So many students to meet, so many to reconnect with.

It’s a season in which life seems to move at an incredibly pace — nearly impossible to keep up with — or so it would seem.

Yet I was recently reminded that while this might be true for many of us, it isn’t true for everyone.

I’ve got a friend I’ve been visiting in the hospital the past few weeks. In my visits with him I’ve been reminded that time moves slower there. Much slower.

The #1 Thing on the College Freshman Mind

Posted Posted in Student Culture, Trends & Issues

You may already know the top issues for your incoming freshman, but Dr. Tim Clydesdale has actually asked them. And in a workshop at this year’s National Collegiate Summit he shared seven common themes uncovered by his interviews with college-bound high school grads.

The #1 theme? Navigating relationships (making friends, finding a boy/girlfriend, getting along with roommates) and managing gratifications (particularly sex and partying, hence connecting gratifications to relationships).

Against the Current: Understanding the Mindset of an Incoming College Freshman

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Transitions

When I was in college, I went rafting with some friends. We were coasting down a medium-size rapid when, all of a sudden, we dropped about four feet on a dip that we didn’t see coming.

Falling off my tube, I remember having to swim upstream to get back onto my float that had become lodged between a rock and a hard place.

Tired from the struggle, I remember wondering if the experience was worth it at all.

7 Things College Students Wish Every Educator Knew

Posted Posted in Student Culture, Trends & Issues

Earlier this summer I had the chance to sit with Dr. Tim Clydesdale, author of The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School.

His current project (which I think will be released sometime this summer or fall) is on college students collectively.

The research he conducted with high school grads (many of whom went to college), that was presented in his first book, was carried on and was the focus of our conversation.

Don’t Get Blindsided by Life Mechanics

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Transitions

Stepping out, taking the risk to dive into this crazy world as an adult, as Miss Independent (cue Kelly Clarkson), can be totally scary.

We like to think we are self-sufficient and not at all apprehensive about living out on our own, out from under the wings of the grown-ups in our lives.

I remember when I moved into my first apartment post-college. It was a seven-hundred-square-foot space that was mine to decorate, leave messy, and clean up only if I felt like it.

Exciting . . . until it came time to pay rent for the first time. Yikes.

Just Keep Breathing: 3 Reasons You Should Consider Seminary

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Academics & Vocation

I remember a pastor once referred to seminary as “cemetery” because “that’s where promising pastors go to die.” Like most maxims, I’m sure there was a kernel of truth in that statement somewhere. But seminary isn’t just for pastors anymore. Nor is it only for people with plans to enter into full-time, paid ministry.

People from all walks of life with all different kinds of aspirations are increasingly entering into seminary as an opportunity to work out their “callings.” What about you? Could seminary be right for you? Making that determination is as simple as taking a breath.