My wife and I just finished the mid-continental homeschool conference circuit. You would be amazed at how many times I was told that the campus experience was vastly overrated. As with anything you hear repeatedly among peers, it gives you pause.
I reflected on the notion, “Was the campus experience another of those things to which I was clutching too tightly, like my CDs in an mp3 world?” Like many Generation X-types, I have grown accustomed to learning that I hold on to things too long. I will admit I was starting to consider that the campus experience, as great as it had been for an old guy like me, might just be another relic best donated to the museum. The events leading up to the Fourth of July changed everything:
- July 2, a.m.: A roommate from college—who had moved close-by—and I make plans to get our families together for dinner the following night. We have not seen each other in twenty-four years.
- July 2, p.m.: After proudly posting the link to my first Writer’s Circle article on facebook, I receive a compliment from an old college friend. As it turns out, she is a Classical Conversations instructor. Also turns out she will be spending the Fourth of July with her good friends, the Bortins. I tell her about my plans to meet my old roomie, who was also her husband’s best buddy in college.
- July 3, p.m.: Dinner with my old roomie and his wife—who also went to my school—goes great. We make plans to get together to watch fireworks on the Fourth. On the way home it is brought to my attention that we were conversing as though we had never been apart.
Our families had a ball on the Fourth. My old roomie, who I will call Jeff because that is his name, commented on how much our families have in common. I told him I was not that surprised. We had a lot in common as roommates on a Christian campus. Years had added some wrinkles and pounds, but they had not changed our outlook on the things that really mattered.
There are a lot of factors in determining the ideal path for our children after high school. Circumstances will determine that some will not have the campus experience. For me, however, I have been blessed repeatedly by my time at college, surrounded by Christians. I have seen it bridge miles and generations.