One of the hardest things about coming to a new place is not knowing people. Loneliness is found in not knowing your housemates, not having anyone to sit with in church, not knowing who to call to go out for a coffee or even help you figure out where to get things you need.
I had expected to experience more of that kind of loneliness. But that hasn’t happened. As one of the grad students put it, I’ve been enveloped in an instant social network (I’d even been invited to a Super Bowl party (my first!) less than a week after arriving). My wonder at this welcome into a social group/network was something this grad student recognized. She’d had the joy of experiencing it herself when she first came.
I don’t think creating a great social network ought to be the goal of campus ministry, even if I have very much appreciated how it’s been a blessing to me thus far. Nonetheless, I think if campus ministry is going well than there’s also a good social network: If we’re loving and glorifying God with our whole hearts and minds, then a good community ought to be forming.