Thursday, July 27, 2017

College Students and the Hope for the Future

Last night was a whirlwind evening; it was my night to host dinner for the camp counselors who are down here to lead VBS.  I left work early, but I didn't beat the camp counselors home.  Luckily, I had done a lot of prep work on Tuesday.  They finished up in the cottage, while I put the finishing touches on dinner.

One of them walked in and said, "It smells like Heaven in here!" I'm hoping they'll remember the smell of Heaven and not the unswept floors and the dusty surfaces of my house.

It was our second dinner together.  It's been interesting spending this much time with today's traditional college kids. 

You might say, "Don't you work with college kids?"  Yes I do, but they're not traditional college kids like these.  The students at my school, most of them, have many more disadvantages than these camp counselors.  For one thing, they wouldn't be able to take a summer away to be a camp counselor.  They have too many responsibilities in their regular lives.

Both types of students give me a wild-eyed hope for the future.  Both have enthusiasm and interesting new ideas.  Both types of students have more energy than I have right now--they might say the same thing about me, as I think about what it takes to make 2 meals this week from scratch, for a much bigger crowd than I usually see around my dining room table.

I'm also struck by what a wide diversity of people I've spent time with this week.  I read/hear national commentators talk about how most of us are spending time with people who are exactly like us.  That's not my situation.  If I'm with people who have a similar educational background (lots of grad school), they don't have my religious/spiritual interests.  In fact, many of my church friends don't have all of my religious/spiritual interests.  I have a really different set of educational experiences than most of the people in my work place.  I don't have the same kind of family concerns as those of many people whom I know personally.

It's good to have a week like this one that reminds me that we all have more in common than we think.  The college students at my dinner table this week aren't really that different than the college students at my school--or than me or my mom, for that matter.  We're at different points in our lives, but we want much of the same:  fellowship, a good meal at the end of the day, and the ability to dream of an improved future.

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