5 Reasons Why I Chose a Liberal Arts University Instead of a Christian College
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Student Life

5 Reasons Why I Chose a Liberal Arts University Instead of a Christian College

Diversity like this can't be found anywhere else.

5 Reasons Why I Chose a Liberal Arts University Instead of a Christian College
James Madison University

It was fall of senior year, the time when each and every senior is eagerly anticipating graduation while anxiously realizing the next step of their life is one they will have to work for, and not one that will just be handed to them. I remember filling out college applications like it was yesterday and thinking to myself "What if I don't get in?" or "What if I didn't apply to enough schools to have options?"

Aside from the constant stress of what school I wanted to attend, I also had to deal with the choice of attending a public liberal arts university, or a Christian college. Though the decision was hard and it was a lengthy process, I am confident my choice to attend a public university is the best decision I have made so far, and here's why.

1) It has strengthened my relationship with God.

Now don't get me wrong, I know SO many folks who have attended a Christian school and have grown so deeply with God, but don't forget about us public school kids. While technically everyone who goes to a Christian school should be Christian (I said technically), many kids at public universities are not. This has challenged me to put God first instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me.

2) My school is my mission field.

Again, Christian schools are mission fields too, but I think the atmosphere of a public university serves as such an incredible mission field. A mentor of mine from my church always prayed that God would bless me at JMU, my "mission field", and I never quite understood what that meant until now. You don't have to go to Africa or the Middle East to share the light of Christ; there are people who desperately need Jesus all around you. Open your eyes.

3) Unlike popular belief, you AREN'T ridiculed for your faith.

College is nothing like high school, and I mean that in the absolute best way possible. In the past month and a half at JMU, I've realized that people don't look down on you for your beliefs, and you shouldn't look down on them for theirs.

4) The diversity at a public university is unlike anything I have ever seen.

I've been exposed to many different cultures, ways of life, and beliefs in the last eighteen years; but until I stepped foot onto a college campus I had no idea just how different people could be. Now listen, I went to a private school for six years. I know how it works. Everyone says "it's okay to be different', but the minute you don't fit in, it's a problem. I never encountered this at a public university. It doesn't matter if you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, gay, straight, hipster, preppy, black, white, etc. You name it, you're accepted here.

5) Rather than church being a requirement, it is somewhere I look forward to going.

"If you don't go to a Christian school where you are forced to go to church weekly, surely you will fall away from the Lord." This statement that I have read so many times could not be more wrong. Sure, some students do stray away from God while at college, but I have looked at this newfound freedom as an opportunity to find a church in the area, and connect with other Christians in my new community.

I remember sitting on my bed at home staring at thirteen acceptance letters thinking "how the heck am I supposed to pick a school when I don't even know what I want?" Constantly asking my parents what THEY wanted me to do, they would simply reply, "Angelina, we aren't the ones that have to live there for four years. Do what YOU want and go wherever makes YOU happy." And then it hit me: I knew I wouldn't be happy at a Christian college; not because I am not Christian, but because I thrive off of the diversity that only public universities could offer. I have so enjoyed finding a church on my own instead of one being handed to me, and most importantly, I have grown closer to the one I love by being around those who do not know Him.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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