Image: Single Sisters in University
“Following Campus Culture vs Following God”
Every school is defined by a particular behavior, style, or reputation that at times can clash with God’s values. What should a Christian student do? Follow the crowd in order to be accepted or resist the current to be approved by God? Sisters, meet Jessica, a former SSU student, who’ll share with us her experience dealing with these questions in university.
What was the campus culture like in your school?
Let me first say that I attended a great school if you focus only on the academics, we have a renowned research program and high quality fine arts education just to name a few. The bad side of my school originates from the crazy student conducts such as massive protests, sexual assault, promiscuity, drinking, partying, etc.
Did you feel the pressure to follow the trend?
It depended. When I attended classes and socialized with my mates, I didn’t feel the pressure. My friends were pretty decent. On the other hand, when I hit the campus dorm, that’s where I was the most exposed to all the campus trends because the residents were heavily involved in sexual immorality, drinking, partying, occult, and many other. So yes in the dorm, the pressure was greater.
How were the students who resisted this culture perceived on campus?
On the macro level, nobody really paid attention to anybody since it’s a such a big school. The tension rose on the micro level when one had a group of friends. You were definitely the laughing stock, you were considered bizarre, or became the outcast when you didn’t fit in.
Do you think there’s a balance that needs to be struck between campus culture and God’s values? What was your approach?
No, not at all. God’s values should be the priority of every Christian student, campus culture needs to subject to it. Our obedience to God comes first; my allegiance is to my Father God. A trend may have been popular on campus, I assessed it first; if it went in accordance to God’s Word, then I followed it upon my interest. If it didn’t go in accordance, I just rejected it. For example, there was a particular female fashion that became popular on campus which was very tight fitting at the bottom. Every girl was dressing up in such a manner. Though it looked good, I decided not to follow it because it didn’t honor the Lord and caused the brothers to stumble with lust.
Didn’t you fear reproach or exclusion from your surrounding especially your neighbors in the dorm when you refused to blend in?
I used to be concerned about their opinions as I didn’t want to feel left out in the dorm. However, I realized that I couldn’t join their immoralities and follow God concurrently. It wasn’t possible, so I chose to follow God against all odds. I mean I was so lonely in the dorm, but that was the price to pay for a clean conscience, clean hands, and submission to my Heavenly Father.
Any word for SSU?
Choose this day whom you will follow: Is it God or campus culture? If you are serious about your relationship with the Lord Jesus then you should also know that you won’t be accepted by everyone. The apostle Paul was maltreated and beaten in every city he went to preach the gospel. Who are we to be excluded from that? It’s true that as human beings, we all want to be loved and cherished; however, as children of God we must learn to be content with many, few, or no friends when we submit to the Word of God.