Being a Catholic at a Christian college

Being Catholic While Attending A Christian College

Aren't Catholicism and Christianity the same thing?

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Catholicism. Christianity. Basically the same thing right? After all, Catholicism is a branch of Christianity. Upon my first days at college, I realized that in some ways this was not the case. Growing up attending Catholic school from preschool to twelfth grade I became very comfortable wearing a uniform everyday and having a religion class. Prior to starting college, I had only ever gone to a Catholic mass and was a little unsure of what to expect. When I went to my first chapel service at my Christian college during welcome week, I thought I knew what I was walking into. Boy was I wrong. When we all started to pray, I blessed myself like I had always done. But as I looked around, I realized that I was the only one doing it. The service was also incredibly different from what I was used to. A Catholic mass is very structured and follows the same format each week while the songs, readings, and homilies are different. This service was incredibly different from what I was used to. To me it felt like a Christian rock concert and then a sermon and that was it. Although it was different, I was glad that I went and got to experience something outside of my comfort zone.

Growing up, I hardly knew anyone that wasn't Catholic so attending a Christian school where the majority of people I met shared different religious views from my own was a little confusing at first. In recent years with scandals and abuse in the Church, Catholicism hasn't been viewed in the best light lately and some people I came across interpreted my faith with a negative connotation. I'll be the first to admit that there is a long list of problems that need to be corrected in the Church but my first few months of college were some of the first times in my life that I had ever felt self-conscious about my faith.

Looking back on those first few months of college now that I'm home for the summer, I now realize that I'm happy that I decided to reach outside of my comfort zone. Throughout the course of my freshman year, I went to a nondenominational church with my friends and really enjoyed the service. We also started going to an event at the church that is geared towards college students and young adults continue to find God in their lives in this period of transition. And, a month ago I attended a Christian music concert that I never in a million years could have pictured myself going to.

Catholicism still is and always has been a defining characteristic of who I am as a person. But now, after attending my fair share of nondenominational services, I've realized that it doesn't matter what denomination of Christianity you practice, God is still the same God. He loves us no matter what.

Cover Image Credit:

Lauren Kocsi

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Try, Fail, But Always Try Again

Don't give up on the goals you set your heart on.

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Working out isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it certainly wasn't mine for a long time. Sure, I was active in sports throughout my childhood, but it was enough. I played tennis and then also took up volleyball starting in middle school and played until my last year of high school. On top of it all, school and homework took up most of my time, so I didn't have any free time left to work out. It wasn't a priority of mine back then.

But then I moved away to college and I wasn't interested in joining any sports teams. I was fortunate enough to live on campus in a building that had a gym. Albeit small, it was just enough, and most importantly, it was accessible. I decided to start working out, simply running and doing a few strength-training exercises. This lasted maybe one month during my freshman year because my schedule and homework caught up with me.

The second year didn't see me going to the gym often. I'd get into the groove, workout for a few days or weeks, and then stop for months on end. It would never last, though, because something always came up. This was true for another couple of years. I would start and stop working out. Then, when I got a dog and was walking for roughly an hour total each day, I felt again, that it was enough. I didn't dedicate time to working out. I tried and kept failing to keep up a routine.

However, one month ago, everything changed. My pattern of trying and failing finally stopped and this is the longest I've ever been consistent. I re-downloaded a fitness app I had tried before to help keep me on track. I was determined this time; I would stick to it. I'll admit it though — weekends haven't seen me working out a lot, so I re-adjust my schedule for the following week and skip a couple of rest days to make up for missed days. I don't hold this against myself and just remind myself to be true to how I'm feeling on any given day. I'm committed to consistency this time and I won't be giving up any time soon.

The lesson I've taken away from this is that I will never again give up on my goals despite any setback and keep trying until I succeed.

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'Badfish'

Song by Sublime, Cover by Dom Arena

Kicking off the summer the right way. With some Sublime of course....Enjoy folks.

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