Category Archives: College

A letter of encouragement to the girl going through rush

Dear Emily,*

I am so excited for you to be heading off to college in the next few days. It is such an amazing and significant time in your life. And there’s no doubt that choosing to go through rush adds to the excitement.

Twenty years ago this August I left the only house I had every known and moved to Columbia to start my college career and think about joining a different kind of house. I debated the pros and cons of joining a sorority and going through rush, and the scales tipped (for me) slightly in favor of rushing. When I look back now on the whole experience, I have a range of emotions. I just thought I would share with you a few of those emotions, with the benefit of being 20 years past them rather than in the emotional-ness of the moment. (I am fairly sure most of these thoughts wouldn’t have at all been on my radar twenty years ago!)

Caring About a “Crisis of Mental Health” in College Students

A recent article in Psychology Today spotlights the state of many on our college campuses: college students are overwhelmed, anxious, and suffering from a wide spectrum of mental health issues. The statistics it cites are shocking:

“It is neither an exaggeration nor is it alarmist to claim that there is a mental health crisis today facing America’s college students. Evidence suggests that this group has greater levels of stress and psychopathology than any time in the nation’s history…

95% of college counseling center directors surveyed said the number of students with significant psychological problems is a growing concern in their center or on campus. Seventy percent of directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems on their campus has increased in the past year…

5 Things You Should Know About The Crossing’s College Conference

CCC LOGO DESIGN Announcement slide

  1. Ready your heart for CCC’s theme: Jesus Outside the Lines. The issues of the day are often polarizing, leading to two opposing sides and us-against-them conversations. Who am I with? Who am I against? Where is my line? But Jesus offers those who are tired of taking sides a way forward, because he lived outside of these cultural and religious lines. Each main session and breakout session we have planned hopes to address some of these issues that we see as college students.
  1. Scott Sauls, author of Jesus Outside the Lines, will be our keynote speaker, and you won’t want to miss him. He serves as senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and previously was a lead and preaching pastor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he served alongside Tim Keller. He has also planted two churches, one in Kansas City, Kansas, and one in St. Louis, Missouri. We couldn’t have found a someone better for this conference, and we’re grateful he agreed to speak.

4 Ways to Make Sure College Students Don’t Call The Crossing Home

  1. Act like they’re an inconvenience when they are back for school. I know, the streets are busier and parking can be a nightmare, but shouldn’t we be glad that college students are investing in our town and church, even if it’s just for a few years? Isn’t it worth a bit of inconvenience to have them here and for them to get to experience a church community in Columbia?
  1. Ignore them when you see them around the church building or in your kids’ classroom on Sunday mornings. Instead, talk to them when you see them sitting next to you. Ask them questions, introduce yourself, help them to feel welcome in a huge church body that can at times makes them feel anonymous.

Worried, Anxious, and Holding a College Degree?

“Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers,” reads the title of a recent article in the NY Times. I work with college students so this wasn’t a surprising fact to read, but it caught my attention nonetheless. The university is in many ways a melting pot for all kinds of students – international students from Asia, the guy in cowboy boots majoring in agriculture, the partier on East Campus, the graduate student dressed to impress. All these students seem to have little in common, yet if this article is true, 1 in 6 of them have “been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety within the last 12 months, according to the annual national survey by the American College Health Association.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a student who hasn’t struggled with anxiety in some form throughout their 4 (or 5) years.

Instagramming My Inner Demons

Please excuse me; this is the pot calling the kettle black. Currently I operate not one, but two Instagram accounts. Every night, just before falling asleep, I peruse an endless feed of images. Picture after picture, set into vignettes of sepia-toned antiquity that turn mundane moments into cultural artifacts. That’s the draw of Instagram, isn’t

Your Boy (In College) Wants You To Talk

A week ago I was on a retreat with 16 college-aged men. I knew some of them well, but others were new faces. I listened carefully as these young men shared their personal stories. Some battled with addiction, others with self-righteousness. Some grew up in the church, others did not. Some just began a relationship