I thought I was going to hate attending a Christian university.
I grew up in a religious household, but I never knew what it was like to have Christianity brought inside a classroom. My friends in high school were primarily atheists or agnostics, so for obvious reasons we didn't have conversations about religion on a daily basis. We never discussed the Bible in the classroom and teachers were very careful about how they would address the subject of theology.
I kept my faith to myself, keeping my head down when conversations were brought up that I didn't agree with. I didn't dislike the experience of feeling alone in spirituality, because it was the only thing I knew. It wasn't until my first couple of days on campus I understood what it was like to accept faith in all aspects of your life. After being well established in my college career, I couldn't imagine being in any other environment.
There was definitely a level of culture shock that everyone will experience attending a Christian university...
1. Prayer is a norm.
Starting at your freshman orientation, group prayer in classrooms, sporting events and university activities will be a norm. Whether it's lead by your teacher, your classmate or the pastor, praying before everything becomes a lifestyle. In fact, it becomes so natural that it can be strange to not experience group prayer before everything you do.
I had quite the surprise in my ENG-105 class my freshman year when my teacher wanted us to analyze Bible verses. It felt strange at first, coming from a school who would never allow this open conversation of Christian theology. Shortly after we got started, I learned how like-minded everyone was. Even if you interrupted something differently, you were never wrong.
3. People will ask you questions like, "How's your heart?"
From a text message out of the blue to a hug in the union, everyone is willing to help you through your academic journey. It doesn't matter if they're your best friend or you sit next to them in your least favorite class. Someone is ready to help and listen.
4. It's not uncommon to see strangers pray together out in the open.
The coffee shop. The classroom. The bathroom. The lobby of the dorm building...
5. You will be frequently invited to Bible studies, life groups and gatherings.
Even my work department on campus has a Bible study.
I'm not exactly sure why this is a Christian school thing but everyone gets married. Everyone.
7. Random acts of kindness are not uncommon.
Bringing someone a donut because they had a bad day or staying late in the library with your friends isn't nice. It's common. What do you mean people aren't always like this?
8. Everyone's Instagram is filled with Bible verses for captions.
Typically with a mountain or a sunset as the picture.
9. And their favorite Bible verse is in their bio.
10. God is always in the center of the campus, which can lead to some deep conversations when you least expect it.
I didn't need to get hit with the feels today. I know God has a plan for me. I know everything will be okay.