They call it “the bubble.” It’s the perception that your campus, however big or small, college or seminary, is cozily quarantined off from the surrounding world. Life is different when you’re safe “in the bubble.” Or is it?
At least for now, you’re protected from the real world and the suffocating responsibilities that being an “adult” will one day bring.
True, the realities of campus life and being a fulltime student often produce a sense of disconnectedness from society. College and grad students aren’t always the sharpest on keeping up with what’s happening outside the bubble.
But while there may be some truth to the bubble experience, it can be unhelpfully deceptive and give way to a crippling lie: that campus life isn’t real life. My race hasn’t started yet. School is just a scrimmage; the real thing begins after graduation. This is one of the most important myths to dispel for the Christian student.
Pop the Bubble
After living four years “in the bubble” as an undergraduate, then working on staff with a college ministry for four more, taking graduate courses, and now interacting with students about How to Stay Christian in Seminary, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned personally, and am eager to pass along to fulltime students, is this: Pop the bubble.
Don’t believe the lie that life really hasn’t begun because you’re a fulltime student. Don’t think that what you do, or don’t do, on campus won’t affect the trajectory of the rest of your life and bring consequences that can be hard to shake. In particular, don’t give yourself a pass on the normal Christian life because “this is a special season” that somehow makes you immune to temptation, demonic attack, and the deep deceitfulness remaining in your own heart.
If you’re a student fulltime, it is a special season for growth — for study, for developing habits of mind and heart that will benefit you, and others, for a lifetime. It is a springboard to lifelong learning, not one long last day of recess. Be vigilant to protect class and study time, within reason; if God’s call on your life for now is to be a student, embrace his call and don’t squander this season of preparation for a life of need-meeting.