August is here and the new school year is around the corner. As with most in campus ministry, we are busy preparing for the arrival of a few thousand new students and the return of those who are coming back. Final programming plans, publicity, social activities, etc. are all coming together. Preliminary plans for mission trips in the fall, spring, and summer are being made. And our staff is making regular trips to Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport to pick up newly arriving international students. It is a busy and exciting time and it will stay busy and hectic until at least the end of September. Then we will start thinking about slowing down a little.
Here is some interesting information regarding college students for you ...
The intro to an article from the New York Times:
"Many people associate property crime and other delinquent behaviors with low social status and a lack of education. But new research has identified a surprising risk factor for bad behavior — college. Men who attend college are more likely to commit property crimes during their college years than their non-college-attending peers, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Boston this weekend."
Some other items from the Ivy Jungle Report:
Inconsistent Religion: Although the US is one of the most religious nations in the world, a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows many believe things which contradict their stated faith. 70% of those who claim religious affiliation believe multiple religions can lead to salvation and 68% believe in multiple interpretations of their own religion. 57% of self-identified evangelicals believe multiple religions can lead to salvation. 21% of self-identified atheists believe that some kind of God exists. 80% of respondents believe in moral standards of right and wrong, but only 29% claim their religious teachings help them determine those standards. A copy of the report can be read at www.pewforum.com (SFGate.com June 23, 2008)
Emerging Adulthood: Sociologists have remarked that being 35 today is much like being 35 in previous generations: career, family, marriage are part of most lives. However, being 25 today has changed significantly. In 1970 only 21% of 25 year olds had never been married. In 2005, that was true of 60% of 25 year olds. When asked what marked entering "adulthood," 96% of young adults identified having a full-time job. Less than half said being married. Jeffery Arnett, author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from Late Teens through Twenties has remarked on the very amorphous definition of entering adulthood. For most it meant "accepting responsibility for the consequences of one's actions." Often, parents are discouraging their young adult children from getting married to soon. Rather they encourage establishing a career and finishing graduate school before taking such a "destabilizing" step. Young adulthoods often enter a path of serial monogamy, living with partner after partner before marriage. 65% of young adults cohabitated at least once prior to marriage. However, research shows that those living with a boyfriend or girlfriend live lives much more similar to singles than to married couples. (UnMarried, Still Children in Touchstone June 2008 p. 15-18)
I hope you got to see the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games. It was spectacular! Even better, I didn't get to watch it live, so I DVR'd it and watched the whole thing in a little more than an hour.
I am a big fan of the Olympics and I'll be posting thoughts and interesting things I find online about them. To get you started, here is one from the Washington Post about Olympic athletes and religious expression.