Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Two Week Window

In the rhythm of the semesters, the beginnings are important as students choose how they will spend their time. As the semester progresses, their routines become fixed, and it becomes harder for them to allocate time to a weekly meeting, for instance.

What this means for collegiate ministry is that there is a two week window at the beginning of each semester for students to visit your groups/meetings/programs and decide whether or not to join up. (OK, the window isn't fully shut until a month into the semester, and there are always exceptions: new students might show if a friend brings them, some personal crisis stimulates them to seek spiritual support, etc. But you get my point.)

I was reminded of this seeing a list of things new college students should know.

E-mail or Facebook a Good Idea a Day along with your Bible verse and thought. What really will be helpful to new students.
Have upperclass give a Survival tip  (where can you find the best hotdog, the closest place to get Ramen noodles, cash a check, late night coffee, etc.)
Have a faculty member give the Most Important Single Thing to Succeed in A College Class.

I even tried for a few years to make up a booklet by collecting 30 days of Insights. Each day had a reflection by an upperclass or faculty member, a quotation (usually from Scripture, but I let the authors pick), and a survival tip.  Handy numbers, locations, and contacts were listed so that those pages could be removed and saved.

Communication and contact are the critical components!

Get e-mails by asking your Presbytery and Synod, Orientation events, Activities Fairs, responses to inquiries to your organization's Facebook Page, current student referrals, and anyone who shows up or visits your events.