As a Residential Life professional, I hope the time of year known as “move out” to students is also viewed as “clean out”. I cannot fully express the importance of students taking all of their belongings and thoroughly tidying their rooms before they depart for the summer. Inevitably, items will be left behind.
I classify items left behind in the following categories:
- Valuable items left behind unintentionally.
- Items clearly left behind with the assumption that someone would use them or throw them away.
- And then, a different group of lost things: items unintentionally left behind, of little to no monetary value, but seemingly left there for a greater purpose.
Very few items fall into the last category, but those that do can leave lasting impressions about the students we educate. This year, I found a small, laminated card titled “Ten Commandments for Teenagers” that was left behind in a desk drawer. Here’s a bit of food for thought from that card:
- Stop and think before you drink.
- Don’t let your parents down; they brought you up.
- Go to church faithfully. The Creator gives you the week; give Him back an hour.
- Choose your companions carefully. You are what they are.
- Avoid following the crowd. Be an engine – not a caboose.
Some things are left behind for a purpose – to encourage reflection, discussion, and action. Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer. We’re excited to see you on campus in August!