Being a Christian has its challenges, and going to college can be a test of our faith and willpower sometimes. Even in going to a Christian college, Christian students are met by circumstances where you are faced with temptation or pressured to say something that goes against your faith. Many Christians have grown up in homes where a love of Christ is fundamental, however, once you go off to college and you are placed with a whole new environment and faced with situations you've never been in before you may struggle to make sense of what it means to be a Christian student in college. Below are just a few things to keep in mind as you go through college, and what it means to be a Christian in college.
1. College Is Full Of Students With Differing Opinions
College is a mixing pot of different cultures, values, backgrounds, and personalities. You will meet your fair share of interesting individuals. Don't get me wrong, interacting with these individuals can be some great experiences and a chance to build character. However some of these people may also bring negative influences into your life, and it's important to stay strong to what you believe is right. Another thing to keep in mind: Just because you are going to a Christian school it doesn't mean everyone you meet is a Christian. Not everyone has the same values as you, and your non-Christian friends may try and pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Be sure to stay strong in your faith and avoid situations where you feel pressured to go against your values.
2. You Will Make Mistakes, Be Sure To Apologize
Making mistakes is a part of life, and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. Being imperfect is being human, so do not expect to be perfect. The most important part of making mistakes though is recognizing what you did wrong and turning away from it. In many ways, making mistakes is a large part of growing as a person. But as any Christian, we try to keep these mistakes to a minimum, and we are repentant when they happen.
3. You Find A Home Church
Finding a community of fellow believers is very important once you off on your own in college. Church is a way to organize, mature as a Christian, and plug in to the Christian community around your area. There are many resources for young Christians at churches such as youth groups, mission trips, Bible studies, dances, and community service opportunities.
4. Surround Yourself With Other Christians
Make Christian friends in classes and university clubs! The best way to stay on the right path is to have positive influences in your life. Whether we would like to admit it or not, our friends influence what we do, what we believe, and who we ultimately are. If you surround yourself with people whose interest do not align with your own, it can lead you astray.
5. Confront Sin In Your Life
If there is sin in your life make sure to deal with it. Whether it be a toxic friend, a personal affiliation, or a sinful situation, it is essential that we as Christians look at it for what it is as make the necessary changes in our life to eliminate it as much as possible. Ignoring a sin is kind of like ignoring a injury that needs medical treatment. It'll get worse and worse, hurting you until it is eventually dealt with. Turn to God, and ask him to help relieve you of whatever affliction that is hurting you.
6. Do Not Let Technology Consume Your Life
It is so easy these days to get so wrapped up in our technology that we forget we have lives outside of our phones and computers. This can be so damaging to our relationships not only with family and friends, but also with God. Technology is a useful tool for many things, but it can also be a great distraction from other, more important, aspects of our lives. It is a sad reflection of our youths faith that instead of reaching for our Bibles in the morning, we reach for our phones. Think: How many times do you pick up your phone weekly? How many times do you pick up your Bible? Reflecting on the Word of God is the best thing we can do as Christians and young people need to make this a priority.
7. Become Involved In A Mission Trip
Global outreach is a wonderful way to expand your worldview and spread the Gospel and good news to people who may not have access to that in their countries. Seeing the hardships of those who live in undeveloped countries humbles the heart and shines a light on how blessed we are in our circumstances where we live. A key part of living a Christian life is partaking in evangelism, and spreading God's love to foreign lands should be something you do in college!
8. Have Healthy Boundaries In Relationships
Relationships are some of the best things a person can experience. Finding someone to connect with, and maybe even marry eventually, is truly a wonderful thing. But if you aren't careful in how you navigate relationships they can cause a lot of damage and lead you away from your Christian values. Following God's instructions on how to live out a healthy relationship is the best way to have a fulfilling relationship free from sin and heartache. Talking to your girlfriend/boyfriend about these boundaries should be a foundational part of a Christ-centered relationship.