Why I Broke Up With Christian College

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A while ago, I was a student at a conservative Christian university, an environment that, to me, was just as taxing as being in a relationship with an uncooperative polar opposite. The two years that I was there did not go well. At first, I was hesitant, but did my best to accommodate. After chains of arguments leading to nowhere and my own identity and self-esteem being compromised, I resorted to thorny survival methods. I screamed, fought, slung mud, purposely broke rules, and at one point even called a suicide hotline.

It’s been a few months, and I think the hate and exasperation stage has finally died down to a calm of acceptance. I see the updates of this school in my life, but I can now wave them away with apathetic acknowledgement. And though I will not be returning, part of me actually is looking forward to the eventual re-encounter.

I look forward to seeing my friends again, perhaps walking on campus and getting a Jamba Juice or coffee, chatting up with some old employees and coworkers, and breathing in the cool Malibu air again.

I pride myself on being very diplomatic when it comes to break-ups of romantic encounters.

From a distance, I can now appreciate my school for the good things it had. A premium education despite some religious or conservative biases. Some very warm people and random acts of compassion. Professors that begged me to stay, different minds that I learned a lot from. Cozy dorm rooms suitable for soft music and homework.

This school taught me a kind of tolerance that I would never expect from attending any normal university. I was immersed, albeit unwillingly, into a strange environment that constantly grinded my gears and made me want to scream at every person. But I had to adapt. And today, the things I saw, that would conjure up mirth from my friends who had public or liberal arts educations only produce a sort of familiar shrug from me. The conservative Malibu barbie mentality became bearable. I am more patient and sympathetic with the gripes of those who do not support gay marriage or abortion due to steadfast religious beliefs, though I disagree with them nonetheless. I am more open to people from different parts of America because I know the stereotypes are not true for all. I got used to hearing music that was universally shunned back at my old high school and community. Sometimes I hear country music and enjoy the lyrics.

I can look this school in the eyes, nod, and thank it for the experiences that I had, both positive memories and hard-learned lessons. Sometimes, I admit that I even miss it.

But I will never go back.

I value my sanity too much, and as beautiful as that school could be for some people, it will never be compatible with me. I will observe it from afar, tolerate it, and coexist. As for now, and probably this decade, I still can’t see us becoming friends. We’ll keep in touch and continue to comment and assess each other. But finally, we are at peace with our past.


About Amy

Amy is a freelance writer and artist based in LA. Her hobbies include romanticizing her world, having too many moody thoughts, and wandering through neighborhoods she's never been in.
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