Welcome back to school, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be back in The Echo after this summer’s hiatus. Writing this column is a joy, and I thank my editors and you, the reader, for allowing me to write. This column is intended to start dialogue rather than be a soapbox. In pursuit of that end, there will be a WTUR radio show of the same name every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. I hope that what you read in the paper is merely the beginning of larger conversations within our community.
Speaking of beginnings, what better topic could there be for the first full edition of the year?
For students, the start of a new school year is one of the most familiar rhythms. We return to classes, see new and old faces and gear up for the year ahead.
This is a time of change and upheaval. For freshmen, just about everything is brand new. Some students are even adjusting to life in a new country. For returners, we have grown and changed over the summer and are coming back to our old environment feeling like new people. How do we fit back into an old place when we feel so new? Although it’s not quite fair to call Taylor an old place because it is now quite different than when we left: it has a nook instead of a bookstore now.
And this is also a time of return and resettling. Some of us may have been in uncomfortable places over the summer and coming back to school feels like coming home. Even for freshmen, certain rhythms of homework or athletic seasons may feel familiar.
Still, you may feel like nothing has changed and that this “new beginning” is more artificial than natural. Maybe you have big questions that haven’t changed even though your location has. Maybe your doubts about your faith have only intensified from being surrounded by seemingly “perfect” Christians.
Wherever you are at, I hope that this new beginning can truly feel new for you, and that you can take advantage of the newness. Think deeply about your priorities. Establish healthy patterns and habits. Pursue changes within yourself to become the person that you want to be. Encourage others to do the same.
Let’s use this new start to become more like the people and community that we want to be.