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Intentional community extended

Christianity in the secular world

By Sarah Gorman | Contributor

I’ve only been at Taylor a year and a half, but that’s enough time to have experienced the “Taylor Bubble,” as it’s often called. The Christian campus feel, the middle-of-nowhere feel, the everybody-knows-everybody feel, and the intentional community Taylor prides itself on. Some may argue Taylor, while preparing us academically for the “outside world” and our future in it, doesn’t prepare us for leaving the bubble. Our future jobs, wherever they may be, aren’t going to be structured like Taylor, but here’s the thing—I think we, the students, know that, and I think the teachers and administration know it, too.

The purpose of Taylor’s structure and the structure of Christian schools as a whole are not meant to simulate the workplace we’ll end up in. Instead, they’re meant to mold us into well-rounded Christians, scholars and professionals so when we do enter that menacing outside world, we can apply all we’ve learned. After all, the point of education is to acquire skills for career application.

In a way, Taylor does all of this and more—students not only gain career skills, but also strategies they can apply to both their friendships and their walks of faith. I chose Taylor for all three of these things, and this spring, I got a chance to apply them. About a week ago, I finished my off-campus semester at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. The center is designed to give you the feel of living and working in Los Angeles while still being a student—a soft entry into the intimidating “real world” I’ve heard so much about.

After I committed to go, I immediately heard a lot about LA. There’s a stigma with Los Angeles: everyone is fake, greedy, and intolerant of Christians. I was warned by both relatives and mentors about keeping my faith in such a hostile place and about adjusting to a culture so far removed from Taylor’s. I wasn’t too worried, and the semester turned out to be an excellent career step for me, but the greatest surprise was how unfounded those warnings were. Everyone I ran into was not only pleasant, but personable—I found myself befriending everyone from Uber drivers to the strangers I met while petting dogs. The entertainment industry is fickle, true, but the people in it have worked hard to get where they are, and they’re more than willing to help a newbie get started. The churches in LA are active and plentiful, and despite all odds, Christian ministry does exist in Hollywood, chugging away at making a positive impact in our media-centric world.

Overall, if there is one thing I discovered this semester, it’s that the “real world” isn’t all that scary. When we leave the Taylor Bubble, we leave it prepared and ready to apply. I might not be graduating just yet, but when I do, I know it’ll be an exciting step forward—not a scary step back.

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