By Lauren Tidmore
In the final days before the school year comes to its stopping point, college students’ lives seem to accelerate in every aspect. And when that last final is over, the rush to get home saturates the campus atmosphere.
As a Waco resident since birth, I’ve seen it for many years. Driving past Baylor campus and area dumpsters at the end of any school semester, especially in May, meant seeing the numerous items students had deemed unusable, unsatisfactory or unnecessary in the trash, whether it was done out of carelessness or haste.
With flights to catch and last-minute to-do lists, it’s easy for Baylor students’ minds to be consumed with thoughts of me, myself and I.
I want to know how I did on my finals. I need to get this, this and this done before I leave. I can’t wait to be home with my family.
They’re perfectly normal thoughts, but being engulfed by the world of “me” just for a few days can sometimes cancel out any positive work and relationships that were accomplished in the Waco community during the year.
The first time I remember experiencing this, I saw a brand new flat screen TV still in its box sitting next to a like-new bedroom furniture collection.
The items had been carelessly placed beside the dumpster without any protective covering, clearly intended to be thrown out.
Such a simple action was all it took for me to formulate my first opinion about Baylor students, and it was not positive.
Baylor students appeared careless and selfish.
With the great work being done by Baylor in the Waco community, it would be a shame for such small, last-minute decisions to cause any doubt in the people behind Baylor’s outreach programs and ministries. However, it is in the little actions that a true servant’s heart is shown.
Baylor students and faculty continuously volunteer their time and money for outreach programs. They’re givers. So when that giving nature is cast aside in quiet, it causes questioning of the authenticity of the giving that is seen publicly.
It would be unfair to say that all Baylor students, or that even most, could be accused of throwing out household items that those in need could use. But the actions of a few can create a reputation for many, especially if its a negative reputation.
A Baylor student might not find value in out-of-style clothes and shoes, but value in the material is relative to an individual’s circumstances. A person in need would greatly appreciate any such items.
On the other hand, value in a set of core morals and social responsibility should not be relative to a person’s circumstances.
As the semester closes, don’t get lost in the high-speed traffic of college life and forget to consider the needs of others. There are options. Donate to Goodwill or take part in Baylor Sustainability’s “Give and Go” event, which takes gently used items and gives them to people in need.
Just don’t throw away Baylor’s mission of giving and service.
Lauren Tidmore is a senior journalism and theater arts double major from Waco. She is a reporter for The Lariat.