Biola profs, this one’s for you.
For most college students, everyday life consists of rote routines. We wake up. We go to class. We eat. We work out. We go to more classes. We go to work. We go home. We do homework. We go to bed. Our lives are consumed with doing what society tells us leads to success.
On top of this, we are frequently told by our professors that we need to rest. We are told to live in the fullness of Christ by taking time to rest in him.
MAKING TIME TO REST
Make no mistake, we want to be able to accomplish both of these things, but the reality is we cannot be both fully rested and fully invested in our studies, jobs, internships, ministries and relationships.
Doing hard, time-consuming homework and projects is part of the college experience, and teachers are justified in assigning students difficult work that challenges us to grow. However, when professors assign busy work or simply too much work, school becomes a game of trying to finish everything.
In order for students to have sufficient time and energy to do schoolwork well, professors must be mindful of the fact that not only are we taking multiple classes, but that many of us are also working to pay rent and tuition, volunteering with a local ministry or are a part of AS or a major-related committee. An ideal syllabus, in our mind, is designed to teach students ideas and concepts in both an efficient and achievable manner.
To be fair, these time-consuming activities are not all bad. Homework leads to learning, whether we realize it or not. Good grades, while not defining who we are, do give an indication about our motivation and ability to achieve. Time management is a struggle. College is a time for growth and maturity and finding balance in a hectic world. We do not want to let school impede on our personal and social lives. But at the same time, are we not full-time students?
THE NECESSITY OF GRACE
However, in spite of the criticism we have offered, both professors and students need to have grace with one another. Students should be respectful of professors’ time and turn in assignments by the given deadline, while professors should respect students’ time by understanding the difficulty of balancing school and other commitments.
Ultimately, we recognize the struggle Biola students face to both be intentional about spending time with God while trying to simultaneously work, write papers, plan floor events, be a good sibling or child and volunteer with a ministry is a direct product of cultural philosophy that states that our value is in what we do. We recognize that the over-worked, under-rested Biola student must also point their finger at an American society that expects us to be superhuman instead of acknowledging the physical and mental limitations God gave us.
We also want to note, professors, that you too are expected to do more than what is healthy. Participating in committees and numerous university events on top of grading, teaching, writing, researching and trying to have a family is exhausting.
Professors, we’re thanking those of you who realize we are physical, mental and spiritual beings and give us grace in that. But, we’re still asking you to be rebellious. Dare to create courses in such a way that not only prepare us for life as an adult, but also allow us to have time to talk to God. Dare to create courses that celebrate our identity in both doing and being. We’ll try to be more disciplined and to say “yes” to fewer commitments.