It amazes me how many projects and activities will be going on across campus during the summer months. Along with all of the traditional summer programs, such as day camp, SummerSERVE, and student-faculty research collaboration, Rollins will be going through a number of aesthetic and spatial changes: Mills is getting a new roof; our athletic fields are undergoing expansion; Dave’s Down Under is about to be renovated; the Student Affairs office is moving (location TBD).
As you can imagine, an abundance of resources is expended in the months from May to August to improve the college. And these are good, worthwhile enhancements. Yet, as I think of these external changes, I am reminded of how, within religious and spiritual vernacular, churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues refer to more than the buildings that house religious ceremony and gatherings; they are collections of people. “We are the church,” “We are the temple,” etc. Rollins is more than Dave’s and Mills and Bush, and all the other assorted buildings and spaces on campus. Rollins is a community of people. We are the college. So, as our buildings undergo transformation throughout these summer months, how is it that we can also use this time to undergo transformation? When our community comes back together in the Fall, will our buildings be the only things to have changed?
This summer, we should rest. We should find time to nap, to watch Netflix, to read good books, to go to theme parks and/or the beach, and to take personal days of restoration. But what if we also used the summer as a refining period? What if we used the summer to open up ourselves to those paradigm-shifting, life-changing moments that occur through powerful experiences? How would our campus “look” different when we returned?
So, let’s do this. Let’s use this summer to engage in transformational experiences and to share our stories of change. Let’s come back in August reflecting in our lives the improvement seen visibly in the physical structures of our campus. Throughout the summer, I’ll be highlighting stories of students engaging in internships, study-abroad, volunteering, and other experiences. Along with these, I want your story to be heard, to encourage and spur our Rollins community to wholeness and enlightenment. If you’re not sure where to begin in your summer journey, check out SummerSERVE opportunities with the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, or ask the Center for Career and Life Planning about available internships.
Together, let’s tell #RSummerStory.