Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Being a college student, I am no stranger to textbooks. Better yet, I am no stranger to the "HELP, I'M BEING ROBBED!" reaction that you get when you purchase said textbooks.

My university, like many others, has a program where the bookstore will buy back old textbooks from past semesters. If you know you're going to need the extra cash for your following semester, the program will supposedly work as a buffer for the coming expenses. Supposedly.

So, I figured I'd give the program a shot. It's better than nothing, right?

Wrong, actually. It's pretty much nothing.

The amount they offer for your books is so painfully low that most students immediately assume the fetal position and begin rocking back and forth telling themselves it's all a dream. In my case, I was just so overcome with anger that all I could think of was slapping the greedy smirk right of the clerk's face. Do they really think students can afford to sell their books back for less than 10% of what they purchased them for?

Luckily at the register, as I was angrily taking back my books, a girl next to me who was also very upset with the program stopped me. "Hey, I need that book!" she said. "I'll buy it from you for more than these people will." She proceeded to tell me the approximate amount she paid for each of her books originally, how much they offered to buy them back for, how she planned to stick it to the man, and some other crap. I really didn't care. I just wanted her money so I could leave.

In the end, she paid three times the amount the bookstore offered me, and I got the satisfaction of smirking back at the clerk and mouthing, "That's how you do business."

But while I may have won this battle, I know they will ultimately win the war against my wallet. I'm really starting to hate college.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Lately, I've noticed it's really, REALLY difficult to let go of things. It's much easier to find justification for keeping them, or in some cases, it's easier to repress the thought from your mind entirely.

Unfortunately, I'm referring to my church. I know normally saying I'm too attached to my church to leave it yields an "Awwh!" reaction, but it's really not the case for me. It's far from it.

I've grown up a lot these past few years, and I am very capable of forming my own opinions and making my own decisions. Especially when it comes to matters involving God. All throughout this process, I've been in church, the same church I've attended most of my life. When I was younger, I saw it as this flawless gathering of worship and praise, but the naivety of childhood has dissipated along with that golden image in my head.

The church, I understand, runs in a similar manner to a business in that there are several jobs distributed among a hired staff, and as in every body of people, there is a chain of command. However, what's supposed to set the church apart from a business, among other things, is a strong sense of morality, something that the corporate world knows nothing of, and churches, for the most part, should move in the direction that the majority of the people want to move. Basically, they should share similar principles to that of a democracy.

My church used to be like that, or at least, I think it used to be, but times have changed. People have changed. Using the word corruption when describing an aspect of my own church leaves a thick, bitter taste in my mouth. I don't know how else to explain it though. Gradually, the chain of command in my church has been infiltrated by select members, some long-time members who are set in their ways. They've managed to acquire a staggering amount of influence over our pastor and our congregation as a whole.

I don't understand why or how this is allowed to continue, but it just doesn't feel right. Is it the fear of losing our history? Is it money? Is it all just a big numbers game?

Our youth group has little to no say in the affairs of our church, while these heavyweights make the decisions. Members are members. I don't recall reading in the Bible about how to separate the church into classes. We aren't a government, so why is there a power struggle among our people? Why is God's house becoming no more than a social club for maintaining yet another status quo?

And that's why I'm torn. The very place I go to learn what it is to be a Christian, is being run in a manner that I don't feel is very Christ-like. My WWJD bracelet is always there, glaring at me, and echoing it's age-old message in my head.  I pray, but there is no clear answer. Just silence.

I would appreciate prayers on this matter, but I know that I have to ultimately make the final decision to stay or go. Abandoning the people I've grown up with and the place that has been my home for so long is a terrifying thought, but reaching a point of spiritual stagnation because of prideful, unchanging people is just as scary.