This was another chapter chock full of very practical ideas. I really liked the concreteness of what they learned about the first two weeks of college and the intentionality that they encourage parents to have in the last school year and summer.
Our community is unique in it’s college preparation, as there is a great deal of preparation for testing as well as sorority preparations. One of the reasons we do this so well is that there are very clear plans to work for both higher test scores and getting into the right sorority (I don’t know if the same type of things happen around fraternities).
This chapter offers some nice plans to work for sticky faith in the transition to college. I think before one forms a plan we can as “what is my hope for my college student’s faith during college.” We first need a goal, then a plan for that goal, and then we work the plan. How do we do this without being helicopter or Velcro parents?
One thing that I haven’t seen this book talk more about is the fact that young people are taking longer in college, taking longer to find their career job, and taking longer to marry (essentially taking longer to become “adults”). This has implications for one’s faith, since the “hook” back to church (marriage and kids) is going to be longer than any other generation. If a college student takes a break from church beginning in college thinking they’ll go back when they are adults/settled/married (as in four years), that break can easily become ten to fifteen years.
I’m reading a book right now about creating habits (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg). One of the things Duhigg talks about is how Starbucks trains it’s baristas (50 hours a year of training, BTW). Starbucks baristas are given scenarios (an angry employee for example) and asked to write a script about how they would respond to the scenario. I wonder what this would look like for parents thinking through the first two weeks of college, or the whole college career, or even the first time one is offered drugs or alcohol. Scripting a scenario we didn’t even know might exists can give us a huge advantage in navigating new or unfamiliar territory.
I look forward to hearing what you think of this chapter.