I’m Not a Spring Chicken

chicken

I’m not a Spring Chicken anymore.

I like it. I’m intrigued by it. I’m curious how this opens different possibilities for conversation and connection.

Last week, over coffee, a young adult and I had a conversation about what it’s like to be a college student during the Trump administration. In the midst of this, I shared what it was like to be a college student during the years of the Bush administration. In the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq War, we witnessed threads of Islamophobia which have grown and contributed to this current political moment. In the wake of the same events, we saw an administration speak untruth about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq as justification to go to war. In the years since, we’ve had endless war, under many justifications, though I don’t suppose we often know what they are because we hardly ever talk about our ongoing wars. And lies are increasingly normalized in the current administration. These eras are different yet connected to one another.

When I started working as a campus minister, I was four years out of college myself. Last week, I did the math internally and realized that this politically engaged student was three years old when I started college. And she’s in her last year; this year’s freshmen were born the year I started college.

I’m not a Spring Chicken anymore.

I like it. I’m intrigued by it. I’m curious how this opens different possibilities for conversation and connection. And I am aware —  I’ve especially noticed this the last two years — that this opens a different kind of presence for me on campus. This is not only true in politics. This is true in relationships. Students and I are beginning to see ourselves as parts of different generations. This is new. I welcome it.

I’ve written before about being a Geezer Millennial. My high school class graduated in 2000 and serves as the upper bracket of the Millennial generation. Each year, I spend time with students who are the same ages, but I increasingly get older year by year. So over time in this experience of being a campus minister, I have gotten to know people throughout the range of the Millennial years. Now, this Geezer Millennial is spending time meeting the very youngest Millennials, and we’re right on the line of where a new generation begins.

I minister in very similar ways than I did right at the beginning, just four years out of college. But also, my embodied presence on campus is different now. I like it. I’m definitely aware that I can give from this in new ways.

Renee Roederer

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