College ruined me. I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere near the middle of June 2008, I woke up a rebel child. I wish I could put my finger on it. Perhaps it was moving off-campus and into the wildest apartment complex in Stillwater. My landlord was even an alcoholic. The day I moved in, there were three kegs tapped for a total of 15 people. Hello, college. Maybe it was the fact that I started dating a guy that couldn’t function unless he had taken a rip from his bong. Or maybe it was just time to let loose and have some fun. I’ll never know.
Life is so bizarre. We are born a blank slate. Our surroundings make us who we are. I am a firm believer in genetics, but there are some things that only your environment can shape. I was brought up in a Baptist home. A very laid back Baptist home. We went to church at First Baptist Richardson every Sunday. I don’t think I missed a Sunday school lesson unless I was out of town at Pine Cove Christian Camp, which is church on crack cocaine, ecstasy, and steroids. It is literally a circus of Christian acrobats. It was the highlight of my summer. I accepted Jesus into my heart as a 4th grade camper.
Over the years, I’ve lost that innocence. College was so much fun.
I needed to take three sciences during my last semester to complete my degree and graduate from OSU. I decided to have some fun and learn some last-minute trivial knowledge before I entered the real world. When I found out about a class called Human Evolution, I knew I had to enroll. Growing up in the church is not exactly a tell-all beliefs seminar. It’s close-minded. It judges. It interrupts and ignores.
The Big Bang Theory always sounded crazy to me. On syllabus day, my professor blew my mind. Why was I in the dark for so long? Sure, they touched on the theory here and there in high school in a fictional way. They almost mocked the idea. “So, if you want to believe that we came from monkeys, go right ahead. Particles collided and formed the Universe. Sure.” They weren’t very convincing, so I continued to read my Bible every Sunday and hope for the best.
Halfway through the course, I was in shock and disbelief that no arguments had started in the classroom. Stillwater is in the Bible Belt of America, for God’s sake. Our professor gave us plenty of opportunities to speak up and voice our opinion. Nerves coursing through my veins, I raised my hand. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but sure enough, it started a debate. From that day on, I really started to wonder if what I’ve learned my whole life is true. Science has helped me understand things that religion couldn’t explain.
Ask questions. Be curious. Think for yourself. Don’t let the things you learned as a child hold you back from what you truly believe.