My struggle with faith while attending a Christian college

My struggle with faith while attending a Christian college

"We live by faith, not by sight"

Religion has always had an active presence in my life. From pre-k to 12th grade, I attended Catholic school. On my first day of college classes this September, it felt incredibly weird to be starting school without wearing a uniform. Although I attended a faith based school, I admit that I’m not a very religious person. My family and I would attend church growing up but, it would be very inconsistent. Some months we would go to church every Sunday, while at other points we would only go once every couple of months. I’ve always struggled with my faith and what it truly meant to be considered a good “Christian” or good “Catholic”. Last April, when I finally settled on the college I would be attending, I decided that I would go to Eastern University, a small Christian college. I knew that Eastern was a Christian school and had somewhat stricter practices such as visitation hours, no alcohol on campus, taking mandatory bible classes, and chapel services. Although I’ve enjoyed my time here at Eastern so far, it’s a lot different than what I thought I originally wanted for myself in a college. Ever since I have arrived on campus, I’ve been driven to think more about my faith both in my religion classes and through the whole atmosphere at Eastern itself. Although Eastern is obviously religiously driven, I appreciate how nothing is forced. Chapel isn’t mandatory and no one will throw religion in your face if you don’t want them to.

There have been many times throughout these first six weeks at Eastern where I have questioned my faith and what it means to be a Catholic. This has been one of the first times in my life where I have met people from other denominations because most, if not all of my friends growing up were Catholic, just like me. In many ways, even though Catholicism is a branch of Christianity, it is extremely different from some Christian denominations. In Catholicism, every prayer begins with, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” I soon found that this practice that I’ve been doing all my life isn’t a common practice for other Christian denominations. Faith is a hard subject to address, both externally and internally. My entire life I have never been secure in my faith. Even though I attended a very powerful religious retreat my senior year of high school that did have a profound effect on me, it still did not make me feel secure about my faith or relationship with God. There are times where I feel like a bad person, because those around me seem so secure in their faith. Trying to maintain a healthy relationship with God has been difficult for me because there is so much about Him that I am unsure of. Although my relationship with God might be a bit complicated, I love being surrounded by a community of believers that motivate me each day to try to get to know him better.

If I’ve learned anything in these past six weeks of attending a Christian college, the most important lesson is that it’s ok to have questions about religion and about God. No matter what denomination you are or even if you go to church every Sunday, everyone will struggle at some point with what it means to be a Christian. Although some may say that my faith-based classes are “useless” I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to actually discuss and question faith along with others. Although attending a Christian college might have scared me at first, I’m truly grateful for the welcoming community that I’m a part of. I even took a step completely outside of my comfort zone and joined FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Twice a month we get together to pray and worship together. Although it’s something I thought I would never do, I enjoy it and hope that it will help me become closer with God. My relationship with God is and will never be perfect but I’m grateful that I am a member of a community where I can grow both mentally and spiritually.

Cover Image Credit: Alex 8210

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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