My College Years 20 Years Later

July 20, 2013 — 2 Comments

I loved my college experience. I know there are many who would say their four to seven years as an undergrad was forgettable, but for me, it was the funnest four years of my life. It also was incredibly meaningful for me. I was a skinny, wide-eyed kid from a small town in West Texas who felt like he was moving to the “big city” when he planted his feet on the hot pavement outside of Penland Hall at Baylor University in the fall 1989. I knew from day one that I wanted to connect with people, develop real relationships, and graduate with more than a piece of paper to hang on my wall but a cadre of friends who I never wanted to exchange for anyone else. I believe that’s exactly what I got.

The next four years were filled with fun times and great people. Some thoughts that cross my mind as I reflect on Baylor twenty years ago:

  • Spring Break road trips to to ski Colorado
  • Talking about life with buddies (both guys and gals) into the wee hours of the morning
  • That one professor who I worked for my junior year that wouldn’t give me literally one point on a cumulative semester score so I could get my first and only 4.0 GPA (I’m not bitter. Well, at least not much)
  • Getting a 2.1 GPA my first semester
  • Never eating alone in the cafeteria
  • Homecoming festivities with parades, dates to Georgetown, and off-campus dances
  • Joining Sig Ep and not the fraternity everyone thought I should have gone
  • Loving Sig Ep
  • The Brethren Bible Study
  • Sam Perry and the gang leading worship through music at Choice on Monday nights at 7th and James Baptist Church (Louie Giglio wasn’t too bad either)
  • Deciding I would pursue vocational ministry, then later changing from Political Science/Pre-Dental to a Religion major
  • Listening to John MacArthur almost every weeknight as he would teach me the Bible
  • Going to Religion classes that often said the opposite of what I heard from John MacArthur
  • Baylor Spring Revival, Greek Council for Christ, and the other groups I was blessed to be a part of
  • Spending more time in my friends’ apartments than my own
  • Christmas parties, sorority parties, and getaways with the gang
  • Baylor football under Grant Teaff. (Long live Art Briles)
  • There’s a ton more but I’ve got stop now or I’ll never finish this post.

But the one thing I cherish more than any of it: the people, the people, the people.

Looking back twenty years later it hasn’t changed. I still believe the greatest thing I got from Baylor University was the relationships I left with. Relationships so sweet, so true, so sincere that I literally went into a depression my first semester in seminary realizing my college career was no more. Those friends who used to be around at every turn weren’t around at any turn anymore. That hurt. A lot. Because, to me, they were (and are) some of the finest men and women I have ever met.

So as the emails come from ‘Jerusalem on the Brazos’ reminding me that my twenty year college reunion is this fall, it may put me back into a little funk now and then. Not because I didn’t have tons of guys and gals who put up with a goofy, abrasive, overly sarcastic kid from Plainview, Texas (even though they certainly did), but because those guys and gals loved me in spite of those things.

Ah…I think I may grab a photo album or two tonight. 😉

Sic ‘Em Bears

Yancey Arrington

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Lover of All Things Texas. Acts 29 Network Fan. Redemption Hound. Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in League City, Texas. Author of TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You. Currently, he is finishing his second book which deals with preaching.

2 responses to My College Years 20 Years Later

  1. “I knew from day one that I wanted to connect with people, develop real relationships, and graduate with more than a piece of paper to hang on my wall but a cadre of friends who I never wanted to exchange for anyone else.”

    – I wish I could say that I knew that from day one, but I was too focused on trying to just get a girlfriend while preparing for the rockstar career I dreamed about. By God’s grace I got the relationships instead. As for the “career,” my goal as I speak on college campuses today is to convert students from my Freshman college goals to yours. Thanks for changing me, Yancey!

  2. My college friends (who are by default Matt’s as well), ended up in the Houston area after college. We see them at least once a month, and after all that we have been through together, they are more like family than friends. I am in awe of God’s love and grace for giving Aimee and Troy and Ruth and Ben to us. I agree that the best thing I got from college was the relationships I left with. I am overly grateful for the deep relationships we have with these friends every single day! Thanks for sharing!

    Laura

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