I transferred to Bob Jones University from another Christian college.

A little background: I spent my freshman year here at BJU before I transferred to the other university.

My time there was a good learning experience, but it wasn’t always a day at the beach.

The differences and reactions of people were irritating at times, but I had the opportunity to come back to BJU last year.

Reflecting on my experience has made me think about the students who don’t have that option.

I’m thinking of the students who were forced to find other universities because of Northland and Clearwater closing or who transferred from other colleges for financial or personal reasons.

My heart sinks when I think of the juniors and seniors who have to spend another year, or even longer, in university because some credits didn’t transfer.

I’m sorry for the sophomores who had just gotten settled and now feel disoriented again.

I feel for the disappointed freshmen who got an email telling them that they wouldn’t be able to attend the school they had spent all summer, or even all year, looking forward to.

I don’t fully understand the fear and disappointment that comes with a beloved college closing down, and hopefully I’ll never have to, but there are a number of students among us now who have gone through just that.

Some of them are still trying to adjust to a new college and student body after transferring in from a community college.

After two or three years of attending somewhere else, it’s a difficult transition to have to make.

But what am I doing to help?

When I hear that a girl in my class is from another university, how do I speak to her?

Am I puffed up about my university or am I curious about her and what’s going on in her life?

Do I ask her if there’s anything I can pray for?

As a student body, we are responsible to help each other, regardless of what our backgrounds may be.

Whether we’re homeschooled, publicly educated, from a Christian school, from another country or from a sister university, we’re supposed to build each other up, not tear each other down because of our differences.

College isn’t some massive, nationwide rivalry to be fought out on basketball courts, in classrooms and in residence halls.

It’s an experience that prepares us for life in the real world, and when we purposefully make the time difficult for other students just because they started at a different college, we do them an injustice.

We’re called to love our neighbors, not put them down because they didn’t start their educations where we did.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what letters we fish out of the academic alphabet soup.

It’s what we do with them.