“Why don’t more people have fun like this?”

“Why don’t more people have fun like this?” This is a comment made by one of the high school girls this past Christmas as we were baking cookies and dancing around the kitchen to Christmas music.

I asked her what she meant and if she’d ever done this before. She responded, “No not really, I’ve decorated ginger bread houses at school before, I guess that’s similar, but I mean people my age, or older people, everyone just sits on their phone or talks about drama. This is…fun.”

I asked her why she thought that was (thinking back to dancing around making cookies with my friends more than a few times in high school). She told me, “I think it’s because we have to keep up. If you miss liking your friend’s picture, end a snap chat streak, or don’t text back, people can get really mad at you.” I asked how that made her feel, “I mean. It’s dumb, but it’s how it is, if you want to have friends.”

I looked at the other girls in the kitchen, and I asked them if they could change that, would they? They nodded. I followed it up by asking the 6 girls in my kitchen, if they would commit to not getting mad at each other or their friends for not texting back, liking pictures, or keeping streaks. I asked if starting that day, they would choose to be kind and unexpectant of each other and others. They agreed, and set up a group text where they would encourage one another and remind each other to be loving, without expectations.

We talked a lot that night about expectations, and culture. They have the opportunity to change the culture of their school, but it starts with their own friendships. We talked about how Campus Life is about welcoming without expectation, loving and respecting no matter what, and where we get that example: Christ. Christ, who came to the world and constantly let down the people’s expectations of what their Savior would do for them, was constantly let down by his friends, but loved still, and walked in God’s plan for his life regardless.

-Jackie Nemec