I’ve only been here a few months longer than you, so I’m still living that “new-to-campus” life. Let me share with you a few suggestions from my experience that I think will help you adjust to life at Capital.
- Don’t ever lost sight of the fact that you’re worth celebrating. If you forget that, come to the Kerns Religious Life Center and ask me to remind you. I’m sure that Deanna in the Student and Community Engagement Office, Almar in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Ashley in Student Success, Dawn in Facilities Management, Rachel in the Library, and, honestly, pretty much everyone in every office across campus will do the exact same thing. You are worth celebrating.
- Meet all those people that I just mentioned, and so many more! Get to know your roommates, your neighbors in the residence halls, your classmates, your professors, the staff, the cashiers at Market District, the baristas at Starbucks, the wait staff at Rusty Bucket. People make this place special because we have special people, including you.
- Choose self care first. That means sleep, eating healthy, drinking wisely (that includes hydrating and, you know, not getting blasted every night of the week), studying, exercising, and caring for your personal, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs.
- Make communal spiritual practices a priority. Notice I didn’t say “go to church.” Honestly, I don’t want you to go to church. Going to church (or synagogue, or temple, or mosque) is the lowest bar for participation in a faith community. Communal spiritual practices can happen in those places, and often do. What sets them apart, you see, is intentionality and authenticity shared among peers. I want you to intentionally and authentically share spiritual practices with people who invest a similar amount of time and energy into a journey within the divine. You can worship your heart out with Candlelight on Thursdays at 9:09PM. You could center yourself with the Interfaith Meditation or raise the profile of public spirituality as a part of the Interfaith Council. You might see your professors as whole people outside of the classroom as a part of Capital Worship every Wednesday at 10AM. Maybe, just maybe, eat free food and talk about diverse faith practices every Tuesday from 5:30-7PM. If none of that fits you, find another faith community and dive in deep. God’s already present with us. Choosing practices like this will simply attune us to that profound presence and open us to the depth of holy development available to us.
- Show up to the Student Organization Fair on Thursday (5-7PM in Schneider). Get involved. Not codependently involved, of course. Definitely no so involved that you lose track of #3 or #4. But you’re here to discern and develop your purpose. These organizations, and more importantly, the people that you’ll meet in them, will help you do just that.
- As a returner to Capital about their favorite restaurants, shops, and cultural spots in Bexley. Do the same for the whole Columbus area. You often get to know more about people when you share in their favorite spaces and activities with them.
- Sit by the fountains.
- Take advantage of every Conservatory performance you can. The same goes for public lectures and conferences at the university.
- Explore the different courtyards, quads, and green spaces on campus. There’s great public art at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, a community garden off of Sheridan, and a greenhouse off of Battelle Hall. Just sit on a bench to take in the trees and lavender. There’s beauty to be found all around you.
Here’s my challenge to each of you. As you do that, if you see someone who isn’t connecting, if you hear someone indicate they’re not worth celebrating, remind them that they’re worth it too. If we’re to have abundant life, there’s got to be enough goodness to share. Thanks for choosing to be part of a community that shares abundant life with one another.