College Life offers uplifting atmosphere for college students

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By Chelsie Gastright

“We’re not about telling people what to think, we’re about getting people to think for themselves. We do not want to answer questions; we want to walk people through the questions. We aren’t just about winning an argument; we are about entering life with people.”

Four years ago, Chris Barrett was the area director of Young Life, an organization to help spread the message of the gospel in a fun and contemporary way. Around this same time, Barrett and several students wanted to form a club on High Point University’s campus that was similar to Young Life and was outreach oriented.

Six people started a bible study, and soon those numbers grew to over 80 when the original six participants decided to implement weekly meetings. Finally, at the end of spring semester in 2008, the group went to the Student Government Association, SGA, to become qualified as an official HPU organization.

In the fall of 2008, the SGA added College life, the college chapter of Young Life, to the list of official organizations. Since that time, College Life has strived to help college students learn the word of the gospel in a fun and contemporary way.

Barrett volunteers with the HPU chapter of College Life, and he is extremely proud of what the group has accomplished. In 2009, only a year after the organization was founded, College Life won Student Organization of the Year. Not only was this a great honor for Barrett and those involved, it also meant that the organization was doing something right.

“It’s a nonjudgmental place and we accept everyone, not for who they try to be, but who they really are. Deep down I think everyone wants to just be accepted for who they are,” said Megan May, vice president of College Life.

May also discussed how she was a part of Young Life as a high school student. Once she arrived at college, she knew that she wanted to become more involved with ministry. Even though she is biology major, it has not stopped her devotion of helping others. May focuses primarily on helping freshmen who are having a hard time making the transition to college easier.

“I really wanted to reach out to girls who were freshmen who were having a rough time adjusting. I guess it’s just a way to reach out to people and let them know that you don’t have to fit in.”

Matthew Munroe, president of College Life and student at HPU, also talked highly of the strong sense of community that College Life has to offer students. To help model the idea of community, Munroe opens his on-campus home up to the upperclassmen bible study that is held each Sunday night from 8:30 p. m. to 9:30 p. m.

“I tried out College Life and it just felt like that’s where I needed to be. I was just so thankful because that’s where I found my community,” said Munroe.

College Life also hosts two other meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Mondays, they offer an off-campus bible study for freshmen from 8:30 p. m. to 9:30 p. m. During the hour that the bible study meets, students are taught how to become leaders in ministry through leadership training. However, after the first few weeks of the bible study, weekly attendance is strongly encouraged so that students can get the most out of each session.

On Wednesdays, the organization hosts College Life Club from 8:30 p. m. to 9:30 p. m. in the conference room at the Greek Village. These meetings happen every other week and are open to all who want to participate. During these meetings, the group plays games, performs skits, sings songs and shares the truth of Christ through the gospel.

During the year, College Life also hosts a kick-off celebration in August to help recruit new members. Barrett mentioned that typically the organization invites a band and tries some “off the wall and fun things” to make the celebration memorable. They also host two retreats, one in the fall and one in the spring, to help deepen the sense of community that College Life strives for.

Whether you have always known the Bible or you have no idea where to start, College Life welcomes all who have a desire to grow through community and scripture.

For more information, you can contact Megan May at [email protected] and Matthew Munroe at [email protected], or search their Facebook group HPU College Life for more details.

Campus Chronicle
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