By Rusty Dollar

Thirty-two students and eight adults embarked on a westward trip that offered hopes of fun, new places, and no thoughts of high school. Little did they know, their lives would change forever. A group of sophomores and juniors departed from Community Christian School early one morning and headed for Texas A&M, University of Texas, St. Edwards, Houston Baptist, and Baylor. Over three days, this montage of students, parents, teachers, and administrators explored college cultures with the hopes of challenging students to think about future educational options. After the trip, Gary Bell, a junior, commented, “It showed us the difference between campuses and that there is a college out there for everyone.”

Texas A&M University stood out because of its history, tradition, and sense of community. Integrity and academic excellence made this a notable institution of 48,000. Near our state capital stands tall and proud the University of Texas with a current student body of over 50,000. Some would argue that bigger is not necessarily better; however, it takes only a few minutes on this Austin campus to see the vast opportunities provided. UT offers over 100 majors and 170 different fields of study. Both schools impressed our students.  According to Haley Brack, “This experience excited me about my future, but it also showed me the responsibilities waiting around the corner.”

After two days of walking on these incredible college campuses, our group stepped foot at Baylor University in Waco. Due to the hype of seeing the two biggest rival schools in Texas, Baylor seemed just another stop on our trip. By mid-morning, a majority of our students had shifted allegiance to Baylor.  There was something different about this campus of 12,000 undergraduate students. This Big 12 school offered all a student could imagine whilst exuding a spiritual dimension and atmosphere not experienced on previous campuses. Kayla Griffin, a junior, said, “I was highly impressed with Baylor, and my eyes were opened to all the possibilities I have for the future.”

Our goal was that students continue to explore options and seek the Lord’s will for their future.  Every university we visited offered something different.  “The trip was a fun way to show us how the different colleges have different cultures and traditions,” Tyler Whitten quipped.  This three day journey was invaluable as Zack Anderson expressed. “I was not interested in the particular schools we planned to visit, but after being on their campuses, I was very impressed.” 

At Community Christian School we challenge students to aim for and achieve their goals in life.  Whether a student goes to college, military, or trade school, we want every student to reach their full potential.  The Lord says it best in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”