faith in college

Keeping My Faith Has Helped Me Succeed In College

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

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College has been some of the most anticipated years of my life; adults have teased of these glory days with their memorable stories and repetitive dialogue of "these will be the best years of your life." While I'm making some sweet memories I will remember throughout my life, I've made a conscious effort to not let the prospect of "the real college experience" interfere with my faith. Going into college, I knew I wanted to get involved in the local Catholic church and hold myself more accountable for my faith. While many of my peers have given up their religion and beliefs in order to make more time for superficial things or make themselves more appealing, I have found that actively participating in the church has enriched my college experience and has made me an overall better student.

One of the biggest things I've learned about college is that it pushes students to be individuals and work hard for their personal goals. While working hard for these things is invaluable, many students find themselves so tied up in their own works that they forget to consider the rest of the world functioning around them. Being involved in the church has allowed me to step outside of my own little world and reach out to the people around me. Instead of solely working on my own self-improvement, my faith has given me the opportunity to help people in the local community and dedicate some of my time to bettering the lives of others. Not only does this break up a demanding academic schedule, but it also helps me find more meaning in my everyday doings. Running through the motions of homework and studying can become mundane, so taking time to work alongside others helps me find fulfillment even during a very self-centered time of my life.

My faith has also led me to communities within the church where the people around me share the same beliefs and values as I do. While meeting new people from different backgrounds and perspectives is important, coming back to space where I can open up about what's going on in my life with people who can understand me on a spiritual level is refreshing. My church friends ground me in my beliefs and reinforce God's love in a way a lot of my others friends can't. Having this kind of community has provided me with the support I need during the highs and lows of college, and I've found comfort in knowing that I have a group of people I can turn to whenever I need them.

Above all, my faith keeps me grounded and calm during stressful situations. Remembering that my efforts are for God and His plan relieves the pressures of a competitive university. While other students work towards perfection under high levels of stress, I have the peace of knowing that my future is in God's hands and He is welcoming to my shortcomings and imperfections. Many students are self-glorifying in the ways they sacrifice so much of themselves for good grades so that they can conform to an image of what society deems successful, and this way of living is draining and meaningless. While I may become overwhelmed and confused in the midst of hard times, staying faithful has always proven to give me more clarity over time.

Keeping my faith has transformed my college experience in ways I never could have imagined. With all things considered, many incoming freshmen still choose to let go of their beliefs since they don't want to get trapped in a faith bubble and miss out on all the fun parts of college, but my faith is just another aspect of my life that I balance among the many other things I do. To give it all up would put a lot of weight on my own shoulders, and that is a burden I cannot carry alone. I would highly encourage any college student to consider becoming more involved in their faith, as those who pursue it will surely reap the benefits.

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To The Defeated Nursing Major, You'll Rise

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

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You will have weeks when you are defeated. Some mornings you won't be able to get out of bed and some days you won't be able to stop crying enough to go to class. You'll feel like nobody understands the stress that you are under, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to because they either don't get it or are dealing with their own meltdowns. There will be weeks that you want to change your major and give up on the whole thing. But, you'll rise.
You will miss football games, concerts, and nights out with the girls. There will be stretches of two or more weeks you'll go without seeing your mom, and months where you have to cancel on your best friend 4+ times because you have too much studying to do. There will be times where no amount of "I'm sorry" can make it up to your little brother when you miss his big football game or your grandparents when you haven't seen them in months. But, you'll rise.

You will have patients who tell you how little they respect nurses and that you won't be able to please no matter how hard you try. You will have professors who seem like their goal is to break you, especially on your bad days. You will encounter doctors who make you feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. You will leave class some days, put your head against your steering wheel and cry until it seems like there's nothing left to cry out. But, you'll rise.

You will fail tests that you studied so hard for, and you will wing some tests because you worked too late the night before. You will watch some of the smartest people you've ever known fail out because they simply aren't good test-takers. You will watch helplessly as your best friend falls apart because of a bad test grade and know that there is absolutely nothing you can do for her. There will be weeks that you just can't crack a smile no matter how hard you try. But, you'll rise.

You'll rise because you have to — because you've spent entirely too much money and effort to give up that easily. You'll rise because you don't want to let your family down. You'll rise because you're too far in to stop now. You'll rise because the only other option is failing, and we all know that nurses do not give up.

You'll rise because you remember how badly you wanted this, just three years ago as you were graduating high school, with your whole world ahead of you. You'll rise because you know there are people that would do anything to be in your position.

You'll rise because you'll have one patient during your darkest week that'll change everything — that'll hug you and remind you exactly why you're doing this, why this is the only thing you can picture yourself doing for the rest of your life.

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You'll rise because you have compassion, you are selfless, and you are strong. You'll rise because even during the darkest weeks, you have the constant reminder that you will be changing the world someday.

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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