It May Not Seem Like It, But God Is Working On UNC's Campus

From The Outside Looking In, UNC Is A Liberal Campus, But That Doesn't Mean God Isn't Working Here

Just because we don't always seem Him working doesn't mean He isn't

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When I decided to go to Carolina during my senior year of high school I specifically remember people immediately saying how they'd be praying for me and my faith as I headed off to such a liberal university. It wasn't until I actually stepped foot onto UNC's campus and became a part of the culture here that I realized how inaccurate people's assumptions of this campus truly are.

People's assumptions about what UNC is and isn't stems from a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions they have about a university that many of those same people never actually attended. I know that comes off as harsh, and maybe it is, but the truth is you are never truly able to understand what an environment is like until you spend a significant portion of time there. It's the mundane moments or the day to day life events that I get to take part in which allow me to fully embrace all that UNC is. Until I was able to experience that for myself I too feared that my faith would be muddled by UNC.

Those mundane moments I mentioned, it has been within those moments that I've been able to experience the overwhelming love of Christ and see the work He is doing on this campus. It's sitting at a table in the Union to finish up some homework and overhearing a conversation about Christ or walking through Lenoir at dinner time and hearing a group of friends praying before dinner. If you aren't looking for it you'd probably overlook it or cast it off as another conversation, but these moments are so much more than that. The best part of it all, those are just the mundane moments.

Maybe it's bold of me to say that God has a plan for this campus, but I'm fine with being bold in that. I find the confidence in saying this because I get to experience Tuesday nights in a church on Franklin Street as a congregation of students fills the pews and for 45 minutes we stop what we are doing and praise God together. There are no denominations there, there are no barriers, it's a group of students coming together to worship God through music. Then as we break away and go our separate ways for the rest of the week each of us falls back into our own sphere of influence. In these spheres of influence, we build a deeper community that binds us to different churches and campus ministries and organizations, but at the end of the day, we all find our way back to that same church every Tuesday evening.

I will not deny that my generation has shown a drastic decrease in the amount of college-aged students who regularly attend church services on Sunday, but that a) doesn't mean that they've fully forsaken the faith or b) that God is not working on college campuses like UNC. As with everything else, I think it is important to put these statistics into context. When students come to UNC, or any college for that matter, most of the time they find themselves trying to reestablish who they are and redefine their identity. This seems to stem from a lack of community and not really knowing where their niche is just yet. Loss of a well-established Christian community can be detrimental for a lot of students as they go off to college and struggle to balance all their new responsibilities while trying to figure out who they are. So that drastic decrease we see may be less of college-aged students fully parting ways with the faith and more of them not being able to find a community where they feel at home.

This area, in particular, is one that really defines why I say that God is truly working on this campus. As a student, it can be hard to find that community, as I said, but UNC has so many campus ministries or local churches that before long students seem to meander into their niche. I know for me it happened fairly quickly, but for others, it doesn't happen like that and it takes time. At the end of the day though, people seem to find a community that suits them well and where they feel loved and known. For me, that's the most important reason behind why I say God is here working on this campus.

To anyone who ever worried about me going to such a "liberal" campus, fear not because God has a plan and has placed me on a campus full of people that He loves and wants to minister to for a reason. Don't let false assumptions and stereotypes jade your perception of the work God can do. He's working here, it's now just up to us to listen and obey His commands.

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College is great.

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Cover Image Credit: ASMR Darling//YouTube

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5 'Side Hustles' Every College Kid Should Know About

Having a "real" job in college can be tough, but there are so many ways to make a few extra dollars.

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If you are anything like me, your weekends in college were a sacred time. They were time away from classes, from homework, and from everything and anything academic. They were a time to "kick back" and just enjoy yourself.

However, this could only happen If you had money to do it. I found was most often not the case during my first semester of college. Despite my best attempts at saving the money I had worked hard for over the past summer, I always seemed to come up a few dollars short of where I wanted to be when Friday came around. And I tried- I never treated myself to meals away from campus and I did not splurge on AirPods or whatever the "hot" trend was at that time. Heck, some weeks I did not even fill up my car with gas because I knew it was money I could not spend. Looking back, it taught me a lot about budgeting- a skill that is never really taught in a classroom but absolutely required in everyday life. I had almost no income and learning to reflect that in my spending was challenging for sure. I tried to work on campus (I was the fry boy in our cafeteria for a few months.), but my major required more time than I could commit to a stable job, so it did not last very long.

Almost every day I see articles or advertisements aimed at people our age pitching "side hustles"- jobs that you can work on your own schedule, as much or as little as you want. They promise flexibility for people with other commitments, and they are perfect for college kids like us. Do not expect to make great money, but if you're looking for a reliable way to make a few bucks between your classes, here are a few of my favorites.

(I have worked for some of these companies, but this article is personal opinion and in no way influenced by any listed entity.)

1. Food Delivery

Everyone has heard of "Postmates", the app that lets you order delivery from anywhere, or "UberEATS", which is ride-sharing giant, "Uber"'s, take on delivery. They may not be available near your school quite yet, but if they are, and you have a car, I would highly recommend applying to all of them as a driver. You can set your own schedule and work at your own pace, and for high-scoring drivers, the payouts are well above $7.25/hr. Another benefit? Some restaurants have been known to include a bit extra for the drivers. Making money AND eating free? Hard to beat.

2. Tutor

OK, so maybe it is not as glamorous as free food, but tutoring can be a good way to share your knowledge AND make a few dollars on the side. I signed up as a peer tutor during my first semester and worked with area high school students throughout the week who were struggling with subjects I knew well. I got really good at teaching, I mastered my own knowledge, and while the payment was never expected or required, I was always appreciative of a few dollars here and there.

Ride-Share Driver

This one is not for the faint of heart, especially in a college town, but everyone has used "Uber" or "Lyft" before. It has become a cornerstone of college society. If you have a car that fits the requirements of a ride-share company, and you meet the age requirements (21 for Uber), why not sign up to give rides? It may not be the most glamorous job, but it will keep you full of stories and keep a few extra dollars in your pocket. If you don't like it, no pressure, just delete the app and find something else!

Odd Jobs

Not every good "side hustle" has to be "official." My school had several community boards where local residents could post requests for "odds-and-ends" work available to students. I was a regular on these boards- I was out bright and early on snowy days shoveling driveways, I picked up leaves and cut grass in the warmer months, and I even helped an elderly couple set up the Apple TV that their son had given them as a gift. I always set my own hours and if I knew I would be busy, I just did not add my name to the call list.

Sell Old Stuff

Everyone has the shoebox or locker or car trunk full of old clothes or shoes or textbooks that they are never going to use again so make the most of it. You would be surprised what you can make selling your old belongings on sites like "Amazon" or "eBay." "Amazon" not your forte? Try apps like "LetGo" or "Facebook Marketplace" to avoid shipping!

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