Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FISH OUT OF WATER: Surviving and thriving as a Christian on a secular campus

by Abby Nye
New Leaf Press, 2005, 229 pages

Parents might think they know what college will be like for their children, but as Abby Nye points out in this slim volume, in the last twenty years things have really changed. Nye wrote Fish out of Water, while in the third year of university, at the suggestion of her journalist parents. She was shocked, and overwhelmed by her first year on campus, but stuck it out, and started taking notes on the strange and perverse goings on at today’s secular campus.

It started with her Welcome Week orientation activities, which included a meet and greet where guys and girls who had just met were greeting each other with a French kiss. Throughout the year, the weirdness continued – some of the activities included “National Condom Day” followed shortly after by a “campus-sponsored activity called ‘Just How Kinky Are You?’” The campus “Counseling and Consultation Center” prepared for February by handing out a flyer title, “Road Trip?” which advised students to set up a “drinking plan” for Spring Break and gave tips on what to do if your drinking buddy was so drunk he stopped breathing.

But it isn’t just the weirdness that Nye addresses. She also tackles some of the day-to-day challenges Christians will face. She notes the hypocrisy many colleges have towards everything and anything, except Christianity, in a chapter titled, “We will not tolerate intolerance.” Her most helpful and practical advise can be found in the chapter “Pick your battles” where Nye shows how to stand up in a godly, respectful and effective way, and also shares thoughts on when it is probably best to just walk away instead.

While Nye probably isn’t Reformed, most of her advice is biblically sound. This is a great volume for parents and college-bound students to read. And, amazingly, the book can be read for free online at answersingenesis.org/articles/foow (just scroll down to see the chapter headings and click on each one). A paper copy can be had at Amazon.com here and Amazon.ca here.

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