Does College Agree With Your Faith?

Does College Agree With Your Faith?

Five steps that help bridge the gap between your college life and your church life.

College: the best of times and the worst of times. It's when friendships are created that will last for a lifetime. It's when the essential skills needed for your future career are learned and practiced. It's when you can be somewhat grown-up, but still go home on the weekends to free home-cooked meals and laundry detergent. College is also when reality slaps you in the face. It's when your parents stop paying for your every move. It's when time management skills become vital. It's when stress overwhelms you. It's when you realize that life really is an emotional roller coaster, throwing you around in every direction possible until you reach your breaking point.

How does one stay sane at the time of emotional turmoil, when the roller coaster takes its initial plunge? Or, how does one stay humble at the time of relaxation and comfort, when the roller coaster starts its slow ascent up the chain lift? Here's five steps that can help you synchronize the highs and lows of life with the steadiness of God's grace and love.

  1. Buy a daily devotional (and actually read it). It's amazing what a daily, five-minute quiet time could do for your sanity. Spending just a few minutes in scripture each morning or each night temporarily separates you from the stresses of everyday life. It gives you a moment of peace, where you can breathe easy and rest in the word of God. If you're a beginner in this area, I would recommend Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling." Each devotion is a short, yet convicting paragraph or two, and each devotion has a few related verses listed at the bottom. I've found that even something as simple as this devotional has improved my walk with Christ so much in just the past few months.
  2. Connect each devotion to your life. If you choose mornings for your quiet-time, be on the lookout for how you can apply what your devotion says to what may happen to you later that day. If you're more of a night-owl like myself, reflect on your day and relate what your devotion says to something that maybe happened earlier that day. Taking mental note of these connections helps you realize that God is carefully shaping every day of your life to help you grow, and it helps you recognize the little God-moments that you may otherwise overlook.
  3. Join a campus ministry. Any and every college student knows that there are dozens of ministries on campus that are just itching to spread the name of Jesus. These people are students, just like you, that want to make a change for the greater good. They want to spread the light that is God's power to anyone and everyone that they can possibly reach. So, next time someone approaches you in the student center and asks if you'd like to join him for a church service or small group on Tuesday night, don't blow him off. Listen to what he says, and give that Tuesday night a chance. You never know, that one service could change your life. Also, having a church family on campus is just another way to make a huge school feel like a loving home. These ministries are geared towards young adults, they're accepting of people in all stages of their journeys with Christ, and they're simply a fun break from a stressful week of classes. You'll experience church in it's most fun form if you join one of these campus ministries full of hipsters.
  4. Find a church and make your attendance regular. In your journey as a Christian, community is everything. Finding people that will walk with you in that journey, that will be prayer warriors in your time of need, and that will be there for you when no one else is around is a bigger blessing than you could even imagine. One of the biggest attacks on Christians is that we "talk the talk," but we don't "walk the walk." What could possibly make walking-the-walk easier than having like-minded people right there with you? Find a group that has the same end-goal in mind, and let them be your church family.
  5. More specifically, find an accountability partner. As Proverbs 27:17 states, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Within your church family, nominate someone that will hold you accountable for your actions, your habits, and your words. Choose someone who cares about you enough to pull you aside and tell you that what you're doing is interfering with your walk with Christ. Choose someone that will physically drag you to church on Sunday morning after you pull both the "I'm still in bed" card and the "I have too much homework" card. Choose someone that wants you to experience God's love just as much as she wants to experience it for herself, and be that same exact person for her.

All in all, college is a time of change. It's a time where hobbies turn into careers, habits turn into lifestyles, and children turn into adults. For most people, that change is scary and not always easy. These changes don't always end how we want them to end. With the five steps stated above, at least one change (where a life of darkness turns into a life of light) can surely be a positive change. The Christian journey is not by any means an easy journey, but it is rewarding. And goodness gracious, it feels good to live in the Light.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.


I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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