While the beginning of their first year of college is a time of growth for young adults, freshmen at Principia have the opportunity to experience a new type of growth through all of the spiritual opportunities that the school provides.
Over the past two weeks, I spoke with a number of freshmen from Rackham Court about what aspects of the college’s spirituality they appreciate the most, and how they would like to see the community’s spirituality improve over the course of their four year journey at Principia.
Mitchell Gill expressed how he, “really appreciates the opportunity you have to use your Christian Science and how everyone is so open and involved.” Gill enjoys quiet time and said, “having a time set aside every day is incredibly useful.”
Not only do freshmen appreciate the opportunities Christian Science rewards them at Principia, they also emphasized how important the loving and supporting atmosphere of the school is. This plays a tremendous role in strengthening the community as a whole.
Kip Wadsworth said, “What I like about Principia is the atmosphere that you come into – everyone is so accepting and friendly. You can strike up a conversation with anyone at lunch.” Many freshmen like Wadsworth talked about how the opportunity for open sharing and conversation plays a key role in the spiritual atmosphere of the school.
Foxe Gladen expressed his gratitude for the provision of spiritual opportunities that Principia provides. “It is really nice to have a community that cares so much. I really like how you have church and hymn sings on Sundays, and testimony meetings on Wednesday,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities to apply Christian Science in so many ways.”
Perhaps one of the most essential aspects of Principia that freshmen expressed their appreciation for was the overall support and love of the community. Their appreciation does not hold them back from voicing their desire for growth and change in the religious vibe of the college.
Daniel Hoffman shared, “I know some people who have benefited from the spirituality and others who have not, and that it can be hard to judge how to talk to certain people because you do not know how involved they are.” Everyone at the college practices Christian Science in a different way, and it can be difficult for new students to gauge how to talk to other students on a topic as personal as religion.
Other Rackham Court members would like to see more people involved in the spiritual activities of the campus. Sarah Geis noticed how people, “tended to disregard quiet time and take praying for the community for granted.” This is something that she would like to see changed in the future.
It is encouraging to have such a strong desire from first year students’ to affect a positive change upon the religious environment of Principia. While appreciative of the newfound sense of love and community they have unearthed here in Elsah, the freshman from Rackham are ready to build a better Principia in the years to come.