Why I'm Glad I Went To A Christian College

Why I'm Glad I Went To A Christian College

It turned out to be the best thing for me.
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Years ago, when I was a high school junior just beginning my search for colleges, I decided that I wouldn't even look at Christian colleges. I had been in Christian schools since I was in first grade and wanted something different.

I guess I wanted to prove myself that I could still be a Christian outside of the "bubble" that I was in. Many of the people who went to my school also went to my church, and many people who went to my church also went to the seminary that my father taught at. It was very insular and I often felt like I was struggling for fresh air. I was desperate to be in a different environment and almost jealous of the kids in my youth group who went to public school.

They seemed cultured.

Ironically, I ended up going to a Christian college and am just a month and a half shy of graduating. And I'm glad I never went to a secular school.

This article is not intended to bash non-religious institutions. Indeed, those schools have much to offer: diverse majors, a much larger selection of clubs and organizations, less student debt, and arguably more open minds. I would probably find more people who think the same way I do if I had gone to a state school or a secular institution (which, again, is ironic).

But if I had not gone to Trinity and stayed behind in St. Louis when my parents moved, I would be a very different person.

I truly do not think my faith would be at the level it is now. I would still have it, of course, but I would not have the same understanding of theology or knowledge of both the Evangelical Free Church and the Presbyterian Church in America. These two denominations play an important role in my life, one more recently and one I grew up in.

I would have been far more prone to experimentation. To be quite honest, I have an addictive personality. I could have easily fallen into a so-called wrong crowd and become caught up in drinking and maybe even drugs. It would have been somewhat easy to hide it from my parents, being three hundred miles away from them. They would have never needed to know. It disturbs me to think about being that person, and also how easily it could have happened. Even now, when I do drink (within the expectations that Trinity upholds) I never drink enough to get drunk. I hope I never know what my threshold is.

The many close friends that Trinity gave me is something I've also considered. I would have certainly made good friends at other schools—close friends, even. But it would not be the same as at Trinity. The people I've met here push me to be not only a better person spiritually but also relationally. I have made lifelong friends who walk with me in the faith as well as alongside me in the earthly struggles.

I am thankful for the many biblical courses that Trinity prescribes, even if they seem like a hassle at the time. Among those requirements are Old Testament; New Testament; Foundations of Christian Thinking and Learning, and Biblical Interpretation. I grumbled about having to take the Old and New testament classes since I sat through twelve years of Bible instruction as a kid, but I learned there is always more to know about the Bible.

I learned a lot more about the EFCA in my foundations course, as it was not the denomination I grew up in. It helped me to understand the way that Trinity thought and why it did the things it did as an institution. Biblical Interpretation helped me to put verses in context, and reinforced existing interpretative skills I had learned in high school. I have also received biblical reinforcement in classes outside of religious instruction, and it helps me to apply theory to real-life situations.

Finally, I am thankful for having attended a Christian college because God used my time here to draw me closer to Him. God uses different events to draw people near to Him, and Trinity was how the Lord drew me to Him.

Cover Image Credit: Trinity International University

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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