When I graduated college for the first time I made a list of advice for people attending or graduating from Freedom Hardly Man. This advice could also apply to other Christian schools, and even any other university to a degree. After 5 years away, I dispense with this advice once again.
When I was in middle school I didn’t have many friends, and I started going to this camp called Horizons. For the next seven years I couldn’t wait to attend the Rivendell of Southern Church of Christers– hard to find, apparently safe from evil, and a place where interesting people meet up on their way on a great journey. I still miss the bubble– I missed it as I saw my friends fade away, packing, as I sat in an empty dorm waiting for graduation, knowing I was the one really fading away. Ever since then I felt like I faded. Until I had a child. At that moment I felt like I was no longer wading into the “real world” (I mean, college is a real world, except for Freed), but had dove in headlong. See, now I am not only experience with school, but with responsible adulthood.
And now to dispense with the stuff I learned:
Some lunches are free, but not Gano ’cause you already paid for it.
God is truth, and truth is freedom. If it sounds like 1984 to you, what are you doing at Freed? I would much rather live in a totalitarian state than a Brave New World. It makes it easier to be a martyr.
You get out what others think you should get for what you put in. Since people have different values, be careful where you put what you put in. Not everybody wants what you put in, or wants to give you back something of equal value for it. You may find you have done hard work only for it to fail due to the apathy of someone else.
One of the causes of evil and dissension amongst Christians is the “inner ring” philosophy. Don’t fall prey to it. See, instead of a list like this:
1. God first
2. Others second
3. Self last
Some people get the unholy notion in their head their lifestyle should be directed thus:
1. The folks I room with or hang out with in our distinguished “posse”, “entourage”, or “cabal”.
2. Those who are in the larger group of which our small group is a part of that we see as distinguished
2. God (if even on the list at all)
Never put yourself first, and don’t think that putting your closest buddies along with you as a whole first counts as putting others first. Your closest buddies are an extension of you. Rather, have the same respect, caring, and love for a neighbor or stranger as you and your posse.
Don’t be a tool. Do be a servant. Sometimes the line between these may seem blurry. Exercise discernment.
Don’t get mad at a student for anything that a faculty member and/or members has/have gotten away with.
Never jump clubs for any of the following reasons, because if you do, no club will really want you anyway:
1. “They put me on AA but I’m AAA.”
2. “I dated one person in this club and we broke up. It’s awkward.”
3. “One guy in this club was a jerk to me. Therefore, the whole club is.”
4. “I want to be in a club that does__(insert one of the activities clubs do on campus that in the end are all vain)___ better ”
5. “I was so shy I never came out of my room and because not EVERY SINGLE member invested time in me I should jump clubs”
6. “I’m so annoying nobody wants to hang around me. Maybe jumping clubs rather than changing my attitude will make things better for everybody.”
Don’t take yourself way too seriously.
Don’t take life too seriously.
In fact, it’s better not take hardly anything seriously at all, except God, family, and friendship.
When someone pranks you, it’s likely that they respect you enough to try it on you. They want a rise out of you so you can do it to them. Don’t go ratting on them. It’s one of the lowest things you can do. Instead, prank them back. They should know that if they can dish it out, they can handle it. I feel more respected if I get pranked back by one of my friends. It’s a form of camaraderie. Men who love each other prank each other.
All nay-sayers, speak to the face of the one you have a beef with. If you don’t, you’re a coward and undeserving of an opinion. Take the problem right to the source. If you want it solved badly enough you’ll share it with the person who can change it.
Never make pleasing people with money as one of your highest priorities. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so no matter what there will be people with power, influence, and money that you will never win on your side. Live by virtue, and the right people with influence, power, and money will flock to you as a byproduct.
Never forget how much you’ve been blessed. It’s just hard to see when you’re paying so much for rewards that aren’t always immediate or visible. Just hang in there. It’ll all be worth it someday. If not in this life, than in the next.
Worst. Graduation. Speech. Ever.