Obviously, it is going to feel uncomfortable. That is a given. What I did not know was what events, in particular, would cause that feeling of uneasiness.
Here at Baylor University, we are required to take two semesters of chapel and religion. While I am not in religion right now, chapel is quite an experience. Every day in chapel we are asked to pray, sing, listen to a scripture, and often hear people talk about their spiritual awakening. It is hard to participate in these activities when you have no idea what is going on, and it does feel like someone else’s beliefs are being imposed on you.
Taking religion next semester is honestly quite scary because of comments I have heard about the difficulty of the course. These comments are coming from people who practice Christianity and read the Bible — and I have yet to open one.
In addition to required courses catered to religion, my regular courses also involve elements of religiosity — My calculus teacher had us all pray within the first 5 minutes of our first class together. He often makes jokes that reference the Bible/Christianity, some of which I can not understand. My business classes also talk about Christianity whether it is Christian ethics in Business or a guest speaker who talks about how God helped him in his journey.
Last, but not least, is being invited to events that are Christian based or just the general environment. I wake up on Sundays at noon and walk over to the dining hall in my running shorts and a T-shirt where I see everyone dressed nice because they just came back from church. I get invited to events by organizations such as Vertical, Baptist Student Ministries or CRU.
These events can include preachers or Bible Study — activities that I can not understand or relate to in any form. Not to mention, a chaplain lives in our residence hall and there are events where we can go talk to the Chaplain.
One of my personal favorites, and one that makes everyone laugh, is the Christian Fraternity that hosts parties where Kool-Aid is served instead of alcohol. Living the college experience while being safe, what a win-win!
With all of that being said, religion is beautiful and interesting but it is not for everyone. My short time at Baylor has exposed me to many new views and beliefs but has also taught me a lot that I would not have learned otherwise.