4 Ways To Keep The Faith In College
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4 Ways To Keep The Faith In College

I don't know how I could have made it through my time so far in college without the graces I have received from God.

4 Ways To Keep The Faith In College
Whole Magazine

There is no doubt about it: the transition from high school to college is a huge change. The time is full of personal tests and growing independence. I remember how lost and anxious I felt the beginning of my freshman year. Yes, it was exciting, too, but I had no idea what to expect or how my life would change in the following months.

Coming from a close-knit, caring family and Catholic high school, I was in for a shock. The college environment is like nothing else. As a general statement, the biggest concerns are having the time of your life, partying, selfishness, with little thought about the future. College students are constantly attacked with sin, relativism, anti-Christian thought, and temptation. In all honesty, college can be a really dark time for a lot of people, and many lose their faith, at least temporarily. Looking back at the transition and first three semesters, I don't know how I would have survived without it. All the credit belongs to God for keeping me near Him, but these are a few things I have noticed that allow Him to work in my life.

1. Start strong from the very beginning

For those who haven't started college yet, this is the most important piece. If your faith is a part of your life from the moment you step on campus, it will be a lot easier to keep up the habit as the days go by. If you put it off, thinking God will fit into your schedule next semester, who knows if you'll make the same excuse then? God will wait for your heart, but He shouldn't have to. If we truly understood the strength of His love for us, we would run into His arms without delay.

That being said, it's never too late to start. If you have already started college, and you've pushed God to the back burner, make today the beginning. Just because it's harder to start back up again doesn't mean it's impossible. And choosing that more difficult path of following Christ despite a past of unfaithfulness is such a great act of love for Him. God will heal our pasts; He just wants our future.

2. Find friends who are striving for the same thing

God bless my friends. Holy cow, I don't know how I was so lucky to meet the people I did. But they have truly been the driving force in keeping me accountable. They pray with me, talk to me about our spiritual struggles, and share their journeys with me. When I don't feel like praying or going to Mass, they're the ones who remind me what's important. Many of them I met at the Catholic student center, and I know every college has different organizations full of virtuous, Christian students striving for holiness. Find that place and make your lifelong friends. God created us not to be alone, but for community.

3. Don't make excuses for yourself

I am so guilty of this, telling myself that I'm better off than a lot of other kids, that at least I'm not doing this or that. The college environment has a way of wearing on us, desensitizing us to sins. If we witness something enough times, we can forget how serious it is. Then, it's easier to justify our own behavior. Whether your excuses be about making time for prayer or a repeated sin, we all make them. Can you imagine how much room God would have to work if we stopped making excuses and were just honest with ourselves and each other?

4. Make it a priority every single day

Every day we make time to sleep, to read, to study, to exercise, to see our friends. These things are important, but how much more important is the state of our souls? And how much more important is the creator of the universe, the God who loves us and constantly keeps us in existence? Infinitely more important. If you have to, schedule quiet prayer time into your agenda, no matter how busy you are. Because I, and a lot of people much holier than me, have found that everything that stresses me out seems to fall into place when I am making time for Christ. When we give Him a piece of our life, He blesses it more than we could imagine.

At a time when everything in my life was changing and some things weren't going the way I had hoped, God was still there. When my parents were miles away and my oldest friends were at other schools, God was still listening. When I stressed over classes and thought I would never make new best friends, God still cared. While I figured out where I fit in in school, I knew I could always find my place in the Catholic student center. As everything changed around me, the Church was my home away from home, the same in college as it had been my whole life.

Between friendship issues, finals, a breakup, struggling with self worth, and every little trial, I don't know how I could have made it through my time in college without the graces I have received from God. The faith has truly been my rock, and I know it will be for the rest of my life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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