When I chose to go to Baylor I knew exactly what I was getting into. I was a different race and had a different religious affiliation than about 90% of the students that I was about to meet. I came to terms with that a long time ago because I knew despite everything, Baylor was and still is an amazing university anyone would be lucky to attend. However, I was not prepared to attend one of Baylor's thousands of traditions, Chapel.

One thing I must give props to Baylor for is that while Chapel is mandatory, there are other ways to gain credit for it rather than having to just go to Chapel. But I didn't choose that route. I figured I would rather attend the usual chapel and learn just what happens there. I've always been interested in religion as a subject so this would be the perfect opportunity to experience Christian worship.

During Chapel, the main experience is supposed to be the prayers, speakers, bands, and whatever else is on the stage in front of you. I will warn you, there is a lot of singing and repeating of certain verses, but it's not like you're obligated to participate fully. Although they will insist on you standing with the rest (I know it sucks when those comfy auditorium chairs are right there, but a little standing won't kill you). Many things said on stage do address Jesus and how we should praise him, so I tended to just keep my mouth shut. One thing I will admit though is that these Christians beats are very catchy, so while I may not sing along, I will most likely be humming with the beat. However, some of the speakers they bring in, while they do love Jesus and all that jazz, have lived very full lives and are excited to share that with all of us. While the singing isn't the most fun part of my day, you can still appreciate some of the themes they talk about during Chapel.

When you attend Chapel, a lot of the experience is not just what is said on stage, but rather the people around you and the atmosphere created. It is those next to you that will give you the best experiences. Whether you're all laughing together at whatever weird thing the speaker of the day said, or if you all have your head bowed for the last prayer, there's still a sense of unity. I should mention the types of people you might encounter, like the girl that sings louder than the band on stage or maybe the kid that is trying so hard to work on some last minute homework that is just begging to be caught since his screen is at full brightness, but that can be another story. In the many sessions, you will have to endure, you'll meet people from all walks of life, and who knows maybe make a few fun friends (I hope at least).

I'm not saying you'll love Chapel every time you walk in, but I definitely think you should come in every week with an open mind. There will be singing, but don't feel forced to sing along if you don't want to. And hey, if Chapel isn't for you, you can always look into those alternative ways of gaining credit. Even if you're not Christian, there's still parts of this "Baylor experience" you can enjoy.