Culture Shock 101
Let me be frank here. I dated under the guidelines of Bob Jones University for 8 years and survived just fine.
So can you. I'd recommend making it 4 years though.
I might make this sound far more dramatic and difficult than it really is, because of the unique dating relationship that Jessica and I had. More on that below.
Before you get all worked up about dating, make certain you browse this entire Social Regulations section for a reality check.
How to Date at BJU: Overview
- Frequently and varyingly. If you come from a small town, as I did, you'll be overwhelmed by the incredible number of attractive and available members of the opposite gender.
- Don't get too involved right away--or at least don't try to get involved right away.
- Make as many casual acquaintances as possible in your first semesters; the deep meaningful relationships will develop later on--probably without a big push to do so from either you or your "beloved to be."
- Keep in mind that the high-school mindset of "who likes whom" is present, but decreases dramatically among the upperclassmen.
- Allow for amazing changes in your life, too; my wife and I were looking for different people altogether when we found each other!
Social Regulations: "You See Many Twisty Passages..."
Let's face it, fellow alumni: the BJU social regulations aren't what one may call intuitive--unless you've raised your own teenagers. Several basic thinly or non-documented assumptions form the foundation of the social regulations. With these in mind, the rest begins to make sense.
- The goals of the social regulations at BJU are
- to provide an environment where you can make friendships in a manner non-offensive to practically 100% of the parents of the students attending (This means that you must err on the side of conservatism to avoid many problems. Don't worry: there are those who think BJU social regulations are far too lax. In fundamentalist circles, BJU is right on center.)
- to train young people to hold to higher standards of behavior and conduct than pop culture; and
- to encourage respect, cordiality, and mannerly treatment of all people.
- BJU is--whether by decree or default--the temporary substitute for parental authority, or at least the transitional authority responsible for each student. (By transitional authority, I mean the authority figure with the most prominence during the late-teen to early-20's phase of life in which a person starts to assume legal, moral, social, financial, and all other responsibility for their own self.)
- The basic Biblical principles at work are as follows:
- Extra-marital and pre-marital sex is immoral.
- The passage in I Corinthians 7:1, which states, "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman" is interpreted in its proper historical context: i.e., a handshake does not cause a moral crisis here! The term "touch" is the Greek word "haptomai," meaning "of carnal intercourse with a women or cohabitation," derived from "hapto," or "to fasten fire to a thing, kindle, set of fire." In modern terms, this could easily mean a prohibition covering petting [the "kindling a fire"] up to and including "living together."
- Marriage is honorable, desirable, and permanent.
- Due to its location in the genteel South, BJU holds some traditions that fit quite smoothly in the "dignified and well-mannered ladies and gentlemen just behave this way" category. These shouldn't be held in contempt or disposed of carelessly. We could use some more refinement and class today anyhow, don't you think?
The Social Life Q&A section has the gritty details you're just dying to ask...