In high school, all of my time and energy was spent on preparing for the difficult classes I would face in college. Instead of partying it up or spending all of my time with friends, I was taking the right classes, getting in my volunteer hours, and interning in the field I wanted to study. In the academics sense, my high school did a really good job of preparing me for college.
When it came to class selection, degree plans, and professors, I was ready to take on the world. BUT when I got to college, I was completely taken off guard by the many other aspects of college life that happen outside of the classroom. I wasn’t prepared for the kegs of alcohol, new relationships, parties, zero accountability, mixers, co-ed dorms, greek life, and the lack of campus ministries. I wasn’t prepared for the social side of college.
Each school year, Seventeen Magazine highlights 15 freshman girls and certain snapshots of college life. Seventeen has a video blog on their website about how to handle everything from being homesick to the dangers of ending up alone with a guy in the basement of a frat house. The goal is to help young women prepare for the social side of college and equip them to “survive” once they are there. For a girl like me who was completely unprepared for the social side of college, this article would have been very appealing. But there is a problem. The problem is that Seventeen is teaching teen girls about very important, life-changing issues from a perspective that doesn’t rely on parents or the Bible.
Each month, the magazine dedicates a page or more to highlighting certain topics. November’s special was called: “Your Year, Your Way.” I have included a snap-shot of the article below:
*if you're a parent, take some time to read through this. As an idea, it might be good to subscribe to Seventeen Magazine yourself, and use the good and bad ideas you read as conversation starters with your teenagers.
On the Freshmen 15 blog, the girls give some great practical advice on what to pack for college or how to go out for the school newspaper, but they also tackle ideas like random hook-ups. The question for parents is: Do you want your teenage daughter or son learning about “hook-ups” and successful college life from a magazine or from you?
One thing that Ashley says in this video is key:
“For the first time, you’re [college students] pretty much all on your own and you don’t have that same lifeline you did at home.”
Your students need your wisdom and experience before they go to college. Not just because they will hear from professors that are obviously anti-God, but because they are going to deal with an entirely new set of social pressures without that “lifeline” that Ashley mentions. You are that lifeline. You know what it’s like to be in college and to feel those same pressures. Your children need you to guide them.
The truth is that if you don’t talk to your kids about this stuff, someone else will. Seventeen magazine is making a living on discipling young girls to navigate their teen years and beyond. Do you want Seventeen teaching your kids about sex in college, or you? Do you want Seventeen telling them about what to do when they are stuck with a guy alone in the basement of a frat house? Or do you want to help your daughter not get into that situation in the first place?
Remember, good parents do not necessarily equal good kids -- but if we do our part as parents there is a good chance we will save the next generation, and end up changing our culture along the way. Parents, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are designed by God as the primary influence on their son or daughter’s faith -- that includes all of the other stuff they will face in college as well.
Written by: Meghan Libassi
Field Coordinator for Axis