1) Praise Bros with acoustic guitars
They wander across campus without a purpose or a destination, always carrying an acoustic guitar but seldom carrying books. It is unclear if they actually take any classes. They are territorial creatures, rarely traveling together, and will strum the opening chords of “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” to ward off other Praise Bros who encroach into their territory. If you are an attractive girl the Praise Bro may use his guitar to woo you, but this is never his ultimate goal; he is forever locked in to his Quixotic quest of pacing the Commons, humming, and imagining himself leading the multitudes directly into New Jerusalem with his next-level capo placement. He will wander the campus until eventually being picked up by a Baptist church from the suburbs that needs a praise leader with bangs for their middle school student ministry.
2) The Non-Christian Athlete desperately looking for a party, any party at all.
Look you guys, he’s just here for the scholarship. He didn’t know this was a–what is this? What the hell is an Honor Code? I have to sign this to get my scholarship? Ok, what does it say…No drinking? I have to go to Chapel every day…but I get credit for that somehow, right? WHAT DO YOU MEAN I DON’T GET CREDIT FOR CHAPEL
3) Married Housing Couples
Avoid these people. They have nothing to offer you–no friendship, no meaningful input to your life, just forget them and move on. They stumble to and fro, hair mussed and mumbling incoherently about having no money. After class they immediately retire to the mysterious campus-sanctioned slums known as Married Housing, where they will spend the rest of the day engaging in frenzied 90 second bursts of sanctified sex.
4) Pajamas Girl
She is a pragmatist. For a brief period during freshman year she tried to keep up with the girls who showed up to her 8AM class looking like a million bucks. This did not last. She saw no point in waking up at 6AM to curl her hair for a 50-minute lecture on Western Civilization. Now she is a sophomore and 50% of her wardrobe involves pajamas. She has stopped reading the KJV and reads the NIV now. She knows which corner of the building has no outside cameras, and will occasionally go to that corner to smoke a cigarette with the Colombian guy from the soccer team who cannot speak English and has no idea this is a Christian school.
5) Avoiding Graduation with a Double Major Guy
He saw the end of his college experience approaching and reacted as if he had looked into the face of death itself. He scrambled backwards, grasping at course catalogues and financial aid forms, staying up all night to work out a plan. At first light he emerged from his dorm room, exhausted and broken, but with a solution: he would stay in school for a fifth year and work on a double major that would get him absolutely no advantage in the workplace. But, like, what if my future wife is in the incoming freshman class, dude? Who are we to mess up God’s plan? Rest easy, sweet prince, you are too beautiful for the real world. Rest easy.
6) Overly Ambitious Future Pastor Bro
From the moment he sets foot on campus his goal is singular: IMMA BE IN CHARGE OF SOMEONE. He is the only sophomore RA. He is the junior who leads devotions in chapel. If there were a way for him to teach Old Testament Survey as a senior he would do it. He does not socialize well with the Christian Education majors who are honing their kickball skills in anticipation of a 5-7 year stint as a youth pastor; Overly Ambitious Future Pastor Bro is going directly into seminary and will never sully himself with the ministry of mere teenagers.
7) The “I’m Dating Jesus” Person
Who knows what this person’s deal really is. Maybe they just got out of a bad relationship. Maybe they are trying some weird reverse psychology ploy on God because they really want to meet someone. Maybe someone slipped them a copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and they are on a legalism bender that will spit them out into the Singles Ministry at 27 with a closet full of one piece bathing suit/short combos.
8) The 19-year-old Master Theologian
Sure, 2,000 years of Biblical exegesis has failed to yield a consensus on this issue, but he’s got this, you guys. He has read the story of a young Jesus in the temple so many times that he is convinced that he is now acting it out: this Christian college is the temple, his professors are the teachers of the law, and he is Jesus, and is totally going to blow everyone away with his theological hot takes.
9) MRS Degree Seeker
Look, we all know why she’s here. She’s not going to use that degree in Communications. She is here to meet a man so she can raise a family of Republicans. I see you, girl.
10) horny MUST FIND WIFE BEFORE RAPTURE guy
Otherwise known as “Matthew Pierce.” Avoid this person at all costs; his mind is a ticking clock, his existence reduced to a biological imperative. He is in a race against Jesus himself, trapped in an impossible quagmire of
-MUST HAVE SEX
-Biblical mandate against fornication
-inability to fornicate even if he wanted to
-hazy uncertainty of rapture/second coming/pre-post-whatever tribulation theology
He will pray at night for Jesus to postpone his return to earth. He will envy his fellow students in Married Housing. He will blunder forward with half-conceived schemes to get a date, harried into sloppiness by a fear of Jesus’ return. In theory he is an ideal match for the MRS Degree Seeker, but in practice she is often turned away by his sweaty-palmed bumbling.
A further resource into the MUST FIND WIFE BEFORE RAPTURE guy is the book JV SUPERSTAR, which chronicles a particularly sad case. It is an excellent book, as these things go.
[continue on to part two, The 8 Other People You Meet at Christian College]