Christian colleges have been getting a bad rap for a long time. We are being stereotyped as sad, annoying college students. As a student from a Christian university, I can say these stereotypes are totally untrue. Here are just a few of the stereotypes debunked.
1.We all come from money
As a broke college girl, I can say money is not something that every family has. Many students in college have scholarships to pay off school. Abilene Christian is blessed enough to give every student a scholarship when they are accepted into the school. Others have saved up in a college fund or have jobs to pay off school as they go. And like with every other school, we can acquire a large sum of student loans to pay off later.
2. We all look like this:
False. Unless you are attending a college with VERY strict dress code rules, this is definitely not how you dress. (The only exception to this is during pledging when the girl's social clubs dress in old-club dress.) Most schools require a particular dress code, but the rules are similar, if not more relaxed than a typical high school. Most days I can wear shorts and a sleeveless top without any problems. By the way, pajamas are TOTALLY appropriate to wear to class on certain occasions.
3. We have no fun.
False. Christian college students have a lot fun. In fact, sometimes we have more fun than regular college students. Have you ever gotten to sing in weird costumes and excessive makeup in front of a bunch of people? Have you ever had to wear a Gandalf costume and stand on a bridge screaming "You shall not pass" to everyone who comes near you? If not, you have not been able to experience the joys of attending a Christian college. While Christian colleges have different experiences in what fun is, we certainly know how to get down.
4. We are all stuck-up teenagers.
False. Some of us are stuck-up young adults. Just kidding. We are like every other college. Most of the students you encounter will be some of the nicest people you will ever meet. There will always be a group of individuals who think they're better than everyone else, but they are far between.
5. We (girls) all come to school to get our M.R.S. degree.
False. Paying $40,000 a year just to meet a man seems pretty ridiculous right? College is about getting an education to be successful in the future. Christian college students are just as smart as non-secular students. Why would we go to school for guys when other girls don't? The only reason this stereotype is perpetuated is that most Christian colleges have a greater percentage of girls than guys. As some girls say, "fries before guys."
6. We all want to be Bible majors.
False. Christian colleges are known for having incredible Bible programs, but sometimes we feel like God is calling us in other directions. Students at Christian universities do have to take non-major Bible classes, but they are usually the first year or two of college. There are also others who choose to minor in the subject but combine it with another major. College is meant to let you explore all your options. Having one major at a college would defeat this purpose. Utilizing all of your assets to survive is one way we all compete in a competitive world.
7. We all receive an education based on Christian teachings.
False. While a small percentage of colleges might teach this doctrine, most colleges choose to teach what non-secular schools would teach. In fact, the only time we use Christianity is when we are in our Bible lectures. Professors also quote scripture and pray, but it is more likely being used for personal gain rather than the lesson. Christian colleges give the same education as any other university would.
8. We are all sheltered and overprotected.
False. Many students at Christian universities are the exact opposite. Many of us have done mission trips before college or are using holiday breaks to take a mission trip with the school. Some schools like ACU have spring break trips to other cities in the United States or even outside the country. Others of us go and study abroad in Europe, South America, or Asia. Depending on what school you go to, they have different programs to get involved in
9. We have too many rules.
False. The last time I checked, we only have three extra rules that nonsecular colleges do not follow. We have a curfew (for freshmen) and chapel credits, which not all schools have. We also have alcohol restrictions (which I'm pretty sure all students under the age of 21 have). Two, maybe three extra rules do not seem like "too many". While some other schools do have other rules to follow, these are the main ones most Christian student have to follow.
10. We all have great faith and are on the same path on our journey in faith.
FALSE. Going to a Christian university does not mean you are one of the "ultimate" people who have the greatest faith. Everyone at a Christian school is at a different place on their faith. Some people are just starting in journey while others have been on theirs for quite some time. The purpose of a Christian environment is to be able to cultivate your faith, not to make Christian robots, where everyone is the same.
Christian colleges are meant to bring out the best in people. We use our time in school to help our faith grow while learning about our jobs for the future. As a student of a Christian college, I would love for people to be able to see us as we were meant to be seen: young students who have a thirst for God and a bright future ahead of us.