Unfolding the laundry
This really isn't about unfolding laundry, so go ahead and try not to get your panties in a wad (unless of course you're me and you don't mind if your panties get wadded up and thrown into your panty drawer because it doesn't matter if your panties get wrinkles because no one knows the wrinkles are there but you).
This is another post about college. Because husband and I live, eat (at the vegan cafeteria), and breathe college.
Some people remember college as their fresh start. Some people used college as an excuse to move away from their parents and go on an adventure. Some people feel like college was the straw that broke their camel's back. Poor camel. Some people remember college as the few years in life they felt most intelligent. Some people found themselves in college Some people lost themselves in college. And some college goers had one too many solo cups filled to the brim with Bud-crappy...and they can't remember much college at all.
Not many people remember the 6th week of college their freshmen year; I, however, am all too familiar with week six.
THIS is one of the most defining weeks of everyone's lives whether they know it or not.
I call it "Unfolding the Laundry" week.
This is THE week where college starts feeling like that spinning ride at the carnival everybody gets sick on. Last week they thought they had BEST friends, great grades, awesome sex, and popular parties. They were even folding, ironing, and hanging up their own laundry just like their mothers never thought they would.
But THIS week, their colors went in with their whites and their laundry is strewn about the floor waiting to be hung. Their not so pretty and truthful stories are emerging, their hearts are lonely, and they are finding that their new friends didn't leave all their issues and faults in high school either. They're breaking up with their high school sweet hearts, they're failing their first test in every class, they're having sex for the first time, and they already want to move on to a new school, town, and life because that's how my millenial generation tries to solve problems. Our expectations are unmet in every way that's important to us so we try to run from them.
In the chaos of everyone in our dorm's lives, THIS is the week I love my job the most.
My office is full and I can't get anything done. My couch is sat on. My arms are giving lots of hugs and hand squeezes. My head nods and my ears listen. My tears fall for them. My heart is heavy from their life stories and their emotional and spiritual burdens.
I read my blog out loud to Brett and he told me if he were one of my college students reading this, he would be really hurt because I just called him hopeless. So I told him I would never test-read my blog to him again if he was going to actually give me his honest opinion about it.... just kidding. But I do deeply think he pointed out something so real to me: This is the week where they are NOT hopeless, they just FEEL that way. Haven't we all had that feeling? Are you in the middle of that right now?
Every fiber of my being hopes to offer them hope, understanding, grace, and the right questions to get them thinking critically and hard about what they really want from life this week. To help them reach for the hope-filled opportunities in front of them. Because hope is there. This won't be the only season of life they feel this way, but for many, this is the first of many difficult seasons they will face.
My job this week is to be present, here, and ready for them. To have a heart that empathizes with them, because I've been in their place before. This is the week of hope. And I can't wait.