By Frances George, a Baylor parent
Over Thanksgiving Break, my daughter (who is a junior) and I had long talks about her future. Whereas many of her friends are clearly set on their post graduate plans, some are not quite so sure, my daughter included. As we talked, I reminded her again that my advice to my children in college (which was the advice my dear daddy gave to me) is to study what you love during these wonderful four years and what you are to do next will unfold at the proper time. She has heard that many times but “crunch time” is approaching and she was a little unsure.
On the way to the airport at the end of the break, it was just the two of us (a rare early Sunday morning departure and so it was just me driving Mary Scott to the airport rather than the whole family), we picked up our conversation about future plans and I gave her one last piece of advice: “Mary Scott, you don’t need to know today what you are supposed to do in a year and a half. The only thing the Lord asks you to do is ask Him what you are to do tomorrow on campus. May 2016 will be clear when it needs to be clear. You don’t need that clarity today. All you need is a plan for Monday morning on Baylor’s campus. Whoever needs encouraging? Seek them out, and encourage them. What task has the Lord set before you in your sorority for next week? Do it with excellence. The path of the journey will be made clear as you walk on the path for today, tomorrow and next week. You don’t need the way lit to journey’s end right now.”
And Baylor is the place where this kind of advice is given, opportunity to take root and find nourishment with exceeding excellence among its students and from its faculty. The advice of a loving mother does not end where the campus begins. The Baylor experience nourishes and encourages with the wisdom of the ages. The advice I gave my daughter is the same counsel that would be given by her house advisor, by upperclassmen, and by faculty. The very next week, Mary Scott called with new energy and excitement. She said she’d spent the week counseling many friends and that she found complete joy in engaging her peers on so many topics and grappling with so many issues.
She returned to her campus confident that she would find answers, that there would be light for the path and encouragement along the way. Perhaps she will pursue a path toward post graduate work in counseling. Who knows for sure at this point, but a little light was shed on her path and she was encouraged! This is the Baylor experience. At a school where the possibilities are endless, where the support from faculty and friends is evident, and where students are encouraged to look at all things through the prism of the eternal, the “Baylor Prism” is lovely. Baylor is academically rigorous and at the same time there is something positively unique about the atmosphere among students. They look to the future with hopeful eyes, with a vision of doing all things better than they’ve been done before. It is the way they go through college, the way they tackle papers, the way they conquer tests, and the way they encourage peers. Post graduate life is simply a continuation of what is familiar to them. So many college campuses focus on the fun- only of the four undergraduate years and never mind the future (the final playground of childhood) but at Baylor, students have a broader and deeper view in the approach to college life. They live life, everyday college life, with a purpose and a focus. Even the “fun” is done with excellence: SING, Homecoming, Recruitment. I continue to be impressed with every aspect of the Baylor experience. (Did you see the homecoming floats? I give you Exhibits A, B and C in excellence!)
Just in case you wondered…is there much fun to be had at Baylor? Trust me, there is! I see it on social media everyday among my daughter’s friends.
So do we know the next step? Not yet but I am confident that the future will unfold with outstanding clarity with options galore and the path will be well lit. The path leading from Baylor to life will be a clear path, an exciting path, and not only for my daughter, but also for every Baylor student I know. And at its end will be a life’s work that makes a difference with eternity in view. This is the Baylor difference.