As with any college student, the business of “doing stuff” tends to sneak into our daily lives. With this first semester of the school year coming to an end, papers and tests seem to pick up. The daunting monster of Finals is the one thing standing in between us and Christmas break. It’s almost as if the fluffy, glistening snow that is eloquently covering our surroundings is overshadowed by the infinite white sheets of notes that we’ve scribbled down. Within the journey of either trying to snag a few “A’s” or to simply survive a seemingly inescapable course, the best part about college steps into it all: the people.
My first semester in college has served as a time to simply grow closer to people. Their stories, goofy tendencies, ingenious minds, and inspiring aspirations. Their food preferences, movie choices, activity creations, and insane ideas. These are just a few of the things that people have taught me this semester. I absolutely dig it. People are awesome.
Here at Northwestern, dorm life is a lot like the cool kid at the party: always making people laugh, dance, share their emotions, and even do something crazy. In my biased opinion, I like to claim that I have the coolest hallway out there. The dudes around me are all awesomely different. A stellar football player, a League of Legends champion, and a natural comedian serve as the type of guys that I get to live alongside. They’re a huge blessing. As 10-page papers and intense tests fill our schedules, hangout sessions in coffee shops and late-night talks seem to be the extra lift we all need.
Recently my hallway participated in a campus event known as “Coly Christmas.” Coly is the all-male dorm that I claim to be my “home away from home.” Each hallway decorates and prepares multiple Christmas-themed skits for the student-body to witness. Taking place on a Monday night, Coly Christmas serves as a holiday-filled study break for people on campus to take advantage of. My hallway had a 6’10” baby Jesus, a shout out to Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe,” a reenactment of “Baby, It’s Coly Outside,” and the plot-twisting victory of Grandma over the Reindeer. Taking a break from the 7-page paper that was due the next day was well worth it, to say the least!
Last week a buddy of mine, Ben, reached out to me and we set up a little coffee shop get-together. It was extremely uplifting. Sitting underneath a mural with “Coffee. Community. Conversation” artfully painted across the top, Ben taught me more about life than he’ll ever know. In the midst of a final paper that he and I had to knock out for our Youth Ministry class, we took a break from all of the business. We laughed. We lamented. We shared. In his unique, young wisdom, my dude Ben reminded me about the truth behind God’s grace and guidance. All in all, the Cup-of-Joe time that Ben and I shared reminded me that nothing matches our time with people.
Stemming off of the coffee shop goodness, my resident assistant, Marcus, has been one of the most influential people in my college experience thus far. Marcus is the type of dude who invites you into his room at 3 AM to talk about life. He makes the guys on our floor fresh pour-over coffee out of his homemade barista bar and provides the best chips and salsa we’ve ever had. As a freshman in college who is navigating through deep learning experiences, Marcus has served as a prime example of what it looks like to live a life devoted to God. His willingness to listen to people’s stories and to walk alongside them is a life-changer for me and all around him. He’s taught me and so many people to take heart in the uniqueness that is “college.” There will never be a time in our lives where we have deep talks with a handful of guys until 4 AM and then have a test at 8 AM. It is within these moments of “college” that the people make it so great. Embrace it. Hold onto it. Grow in it. College.