Last night was a new episode of Mtv’s “College Life.” I’ll issue a re-cap as well as offer some insights into college-age stage issues.
Jordan – remember he’s from a conservative background. He recently got a tattoo and his parents freaked out on him, threatening to no longer pay for school. The tattoo isn’t finished, but he’s not willing to finish it out of fear of his parents. He had a short phone conversation with his mom and she’s clearly still upset.
College-age Stage Insight: I think this shows us that although college-age people have more freedoms from parents that they still feel a lot of pressure from them. There is still an element where they want to please their parents. Some might point out this is probably due to him still being a freshman and may suggest that this would change as he gets older. Of course that may be the case for some, but in general I would say it remains a pressure they give into throughout these years.
Andrea – she is the one that keeps going back and forth with her high school sweetheart, Josh. Her friend Erica is now confronting Andrea for dragging him on in their relationship. Up to this point she’s clearly been playing the game, keeping his attention while keeping her freedom to meet other people. However, last night she finally owned the game she’s been playing and said that she’s approached this relationship out of her own selfishness. So, she breaks it off over a phone conversation. To get his mind off of her, Josh goes out, meets some girls and even kisses a few. The kicker will come next week when Andrea finds out Josh is dating another girl.
College-age Stage Insight: Two things here. First, this shows us the complexity of male-female relationships. This is representative of the lack of boundaries in relationships. Walking the line between friendship and dating is often blurred. The longer you’re in college ministry you’ll notice how much confusion happens in this arena. Secondly, I think this also gives us insights into a unique dichotomy in the college-age years. On one hand they’re excited about the newness of college life, but on the other there’s a desire for the stability of what’s known. Andrea knows what she gets with Josh and so hangs on to that. But there is still this part of her that doesn’t want to settle down, she still wants to explore. This is very typical. On one hand marriage is desired, but this marker in their mind also represents the end to spontaneity, exploration, and freedom.
Kevin – he is the classic person who is in college for the social aspects. He’s not a dummy though! He’s actually very sharp, but just has no discipline. He’s simply enjoying his new freedoms. But the freedom ended last night when he got kicked out of the dorms for getting caught drinking for the 3rd time. Up to this point his mom still doesn’t know and he clearly doesn’t want to tell her.
College-age Stage Insight: I’ve found that with people like Kevin (who just go one minute to the next, from one social thing to the next), drawing clear lines is best. Not enabling them to continue in these patterns is most often best. I think this showed when he got the discipline letter and he said, “this is a reality check.” Balancing the new found freedoms with discipline is an issue many college-age people face. And sometimes we just need to help the balance a bit.
Lindsay – she’s a new addition to the show. She clearly likes Max, and has hung out with him quite a bit. The lack of lines drawn in this relationship keeps it from being a “Facebook status” one. This just simply means they’re not willing to go completely public yet. Max recently broke up with his girlfriend of 3 years and this is causing some issues for her – she’s very insecure. This showed when she was decorating his room for his birthday, asking his roommate all sorts of questions. She wants answers from him and at one point goes into the shower room while he’s showering to ask her where they are in their relationship. She keeps calling him and eventually he breaks it off. But, we’ll begin to see more of the complexities to college-age life when he starts calling her again next week!
College-age Stage Insights: This yet again shows us the complexities in dating. The lack of boundaries in relationships during college life is a real issue. In fact at one point Lindsay talks about hating “gray” areas in relationships. This is why in our college ministries the topic of relationships is so vital to teach through! It’s interesting to remember that these are the things those in our ministries go through everyday, because these are the areas they rarely let us into.