For the eyes of freshmen only
To the lovely class of 2017, First and foremost, congratulations! You’ve completed high school and have chosen to partake in one of the most noble projects of our time. In the words of your president:
“This is historic Christianity’s last and best shot to lead from the center of the culture. No one besides us will get the chance to do this again.” - Greg Thornbury
This time last year I was in your place, and I’m excited to witness as you inquire, explore, interact and grow within your first few months of college life.
One thing you will notice about King’s is that students are treated as adults from the start. This can be a lot for some students--the dress code, apartment life, commuting, etc.--but know that these are all good things that will eventually provide you with an advantage over youths attending conventional (traditional) universities. Also, remember that others have gone before you and are thriving. You have just as much potential as they did when they began at King’s, and they were just as clueless as you feel now or may feel at certain points during this first semester.
Now that you have all undergone the ceremonial procedure to become official students of The King’s College (again, congratulations), I’ve put together some brief bits of advice that might equip you to face this next step of your life confidently. So consider this your first lecture, and listen up, because yes, you will all be tested on this material.
1. On school spirit:
There are certain attitudes, interests and styles of dress that the King’s community has attributed the revered quality that is “Kingsian.” If you find that not every one of these things describes you, do not fret. It’s good to find common interests that unite you and your peers, but if you find that you’re still not a fan of Harry Potter, or that you don’t really feel one way or another about bow ties after all, that’s okay. King’s is foremost a college of individuals, each one made in God’s image, and what makes this school so special is the culture--one of innovation and encouragement. Show your classmates some love and embrace diversity. We’re all hipsters, eschewing the culture of the world to embark on a heavenly journey, and that’s much more fulfilling and exciting than being a homogenous clique.
2. On motivation and dedication:
Know why you do what you do. New York is full of so many incredibly driven, “successful” people, but unless the thing driving an individual is lasting and authentic, that person will struggle with feelings of perpetual defeat. As you discover your strengths and weaknesses, resist the urge to compare yourselves with your classmates and those around you--they don’t have all of the answers! College can be scary for some because it encourages and often requires students to think for themselves and develop their own philosophy or approach to life. As Christians, this is a liberating and joyful time. Pray that God, who knows you better than anyone does, will lead you on a path to achieve His will for your life. True success will follow.
3. On recreation and Gothamization
On the first day of class last fall, Professor Anthony Bradley gave his Christianity and Society classes (comprised predominantly of freshmen) a very helpful piece of advice: “The city can wait.” It’s true. Know what fills you up and what drains you. Don’t let the activity of the city overwhelm you. It’s there for you when you need to take a long walk along the East River, grab coffee with a friend or see a show, but your studies and your relationship with God and others should be your priority. I don’t mind sounding like a parent here. Parents are smart; that’s another thing you will learn in college.
4. On education
One of my favorite things about King’s is the support students receive from their professors and the college staff. These people truly want us to succeed. They have read the school’s mission and have dedicated themselves to raising up smart, humble, fearless Christian leaders in New York City. Sure, you’re bound to disagree with some of your professors, but I am confident that you won’t question their intentions or feel disadvantaged as a result. Know this, keep an open mind and I promise you will learn something. Think on these items (not too hard--you still have to memorize your skits for Drama Comp!) and get ready for a year you’ll never forget. On behalf of the Empire State Tribune and the entire school, we believe in you. Go be awesome!