Monday, May 8, 2017

Un-Crushed Students

We like to say that there are two versions of every Cornell student.  There is the regular version; a person who is brilliant, purpose-driven, often creative, optimistic and relational.  And there is the crushed version of that person: A person who's mental acuity, drive, vision and social abilities are fundamentally impaired by the "crushing weight" of homework, academic pressure, resume building extra-curricular activities,  un-ceasing competition and complete lack of margin. 

One of the best things about spring break trips is the way it enables us to spend time hanging out with the "un-crushed" version of our Cornell student leaders.  

Our spring break trips afford students the chance to get off campus, take a break from homework and get some fresh air.   The grace of the gospel pervades every aspect of the week.  And with our focus on Jesus, serving others and enjoying fellowship together the students are able to connect with God and each other in some really powerful ways.  The non-stop "success driven" culture at Cornell is actually very stifling.  But traveling together over the break is thoroughly enriching; students are categorically more joyful, clear thinking and social on the trips.  They are "un-crushed."   Lots of spiritual growth happens specifically because there is adequate mental and emotional space.  
I personally believe these experiences are invaluable for gaining perspective.  So much life at Cornell can become a neurotic shuffle from one intense class or assignment to the next.  It's "productive" in it's own rite, but at what cost?  Getting away for a week of doing nothing has it's own merits.  But for those who spend their week hanging out with friends, exploring ways to love others and soaking in God's word it is extremely fortifying.  

This is one of our guys, Paul, exhibiting some of the extra life students have on these trips!  haha. 

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