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"See you at 10" – Connecting with Your Student Through Chapel

"See you at 10" – Connecting with Your Student Through Chapel

February 10, 2016

chapelHaving a son or daughter leave for college for the first time can be a time of great emotion for most parents. Today's guest author, Leanne Rubosky, Cedarville staff member and a parent of a current Cedarville student, shares one special way she's found to stay connected to her daughter while she's away from home.

Every parent of a college student must at some point face the following daunting question: How do I stay connected with my student when they go off to college? I remember when I was in college and living more than four hours away; it wasn’t easy to connect with home. When my parents said goodbye and the car pulled away, I wasn’t sure when I would get to talk to them next.

My best chance of reaching my parents was by “phoning home” on a pay phone located in the hall of my dorm. With only one phone per wing and floor of the dorm, timing was key. Everyone hoped that when their call from home came, the phone wouldn’t be in use by someone else. Since call waiting was still a thing of the future at that point, a preoccupied phone line meant you missed your call. And when a call’s timing was successful, you needed a pile of coins to feed the phone for the call’s duration. Both money and timing were precious and very unpredictable resources in a college environment.

The tables have turned for me now, though, and as a parent of a Cedarville student, I am grateful for improved technology. Today’s opportunities to stay connected are numerous, thanks to cell phones, mobile plans, Skype, Facetime, email, and texting. Getting a message to and from your son or daughter is almost instantaneous! And if that weren't enough, we as parents can stay ever updated on our students’ lives through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media avenues. Connectivity is easy and doesn’t even require direct communication today. 

Our daughter began her Cedarville education in the fall of 2013. Cedarville was her new home; she was making friends and becoming involved in many activities, for which my husband and I were grateful. She would call or send text messages to tell us about her classes, students she met, and how she was adjusting to college life. One of my favorite texts from her shared how, for homecoming week, Dr. White (Cedarville's president) wore his favorite football jersey — which happened to be that of our hometown team. What a relief to hear that she was happy, thriving, and doing well.

While she was adjusting well, the new normal for my husband and me was one less child, one less plate, a quieter home, and less activities to run to each night. All of the calls, texts, and photos gave us joy, but I added another connecting piece to my day by listening every afternoon to the prerecorded Cedarville chapel service. 

Cedarville’s daily chapel was one of the key reasons why our daughter chose Cedarville. When we were looking for colleges, I had no idea that chapel would be one of our ways to link together while we were miles apart. As the center of each day, it was a point of connectivity for both of us. What a blessing to hear the same message that was being laid on our daughter’s heart and the hearts of the entire student body each day! I never saw her on the chapel feed or heard her voice. What I heard was an entire student body singing together, lifting their voices to Christ. The array of talented students on stage sharing their God-given talents and gifts was amazing. I heard messages prayerfully selected by the administration and delivered by some of the top biblical speakers in the world. They were messages spoken to her, guiding and inspiring her to be the hands and feet of Christ, no matter what her major. By hearing the same message, we were connected daily in the Word. Chapel gave me comfort and connection to our daughter through Christ. 

This year, Cedarville chapel services are now available each weekday morning at 10 a.m through live streaming on Cedarville's website or Apple TV® app. Through technology, parents have the ability to listen simultaneously along with their students. This takes me back to summer camp when my camp counselor and the campers shared a farewell goodbye: “See you at 6.” Long after camp ended, we would pray where we were, spread across the United States, every day at 6 p.m. We were connected in prayer at the same time every day. You, too, can “See you at 10.” Pray together, worship together, and listen to the message together, miles apart, but together through Cedarville’s chapel. Sometimes you don’t need to be physically close to be connected. 

Leanne RuboskyLeanne Rubosky serves as Cedarville's Associate Director of Transfer and High School Student Recruitment. Her daughter, Morgan, is a junior at Cedarville, and her son, Zach, is a Cedarville College Now student.

Posted in Spiritual Growth Student Life Why Christ Centered Higher Education?