Bladding. Ever heard of it? Well neither did we our freshmen year. Apparently it’s this top secret activity where you can’t find any information about it online, and if you’ve done it you’re not supposed to tell others about it. Four years later and I’m positive our RA made it up.
She told us to wear all black and meet at 9 PM in the first floor lounge. That’s all she told us. She didn’t give us any insight into where we were going or what we would be doing, and as ‘down-for-anything’ ‘stoked-on-life’ freshmen we agreed no questions asked. I remember meeting in the lounge with 30+ other freshmen wearing all black and thinking we were the coolest kids on the block. What I would give to forever have the confidence of a freshman in college.
So we meet in the lounge, and the two RAs tell us we’re going to walk somewhere. We leave Nease, walk off campus, go down Lomaland, get onto Catalina, turn right at Cañon, and stop at the Westminster Park. We’re huddled there in the cold, dark excited about what on earth we would be doing. Our RAs begin to tell us this story of a construction worker whose wife would always make him a pie to take to work. He loved these pies. But one day he dropped his pie on the floor and a car ran over it. Since he loved these pies so much, he ate it anyways. And that’s what we were supposed to do too.
We each got a $2 dollar mini pie our RAs had bought from the gas station, unwrapped them, crossed the street, placed our pies on the floor, then hid in the bushes. We waited and waited until a car drove by and ran over our pies. When it did we ran out from the bushes, kneeled over and ate apple pies with a blend of rocks off the floor- no hands.
Completely ridiculous right? Well freshmen year that thought didn’t even cross my mind. I willingly ate food off the floor that the off-campus freshmen shuttle had ran over- rocks and all- and I walked away with a smile. I had so much fun, and I’ll probably tell my kids that story one day.
Bladding taught me something about attending college that I’m glad I learned early on. It taught me that genuine, ridiculous fun is possible without alcohol or drugs or crazy college parties. My most outrageous college stories are often the ones where my friends and I were down for anything no questions asked. Those are the stories I’m going to hold onto. They’re the memories that will make me smile from ear to ear at just the thought.
I am infinitely a better person because of Point Loma Nazarene University. I am going to miss being in a community of Christ-loving people who were completely ridiculous all on their own. But I am so grateful for four years being surrounded by people who never pressured me to do anything I didn’t want to do. Loma gave me a glimpse of what living freely in Christ, not for society, looks like.