I Won't Lose My Faith In College

I Won't Lose My Faith In College

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." ~ Hebrews 11:1
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From the moment I was born, my Catholic faith has constantly been a part of my life.

During my elementary school days, my Sunday mornings were dedicated to singing for my parish choir during Mass. But for the days when I wasn't singing or positioned as an Altar Server, I sat alongside my family in the same exact pew. At this time, my faith was dependent on my parents--the people who raised me through religious tradition. By this dependence, I followed along to the repetitious prayers and rituals during Mass, failing to notice their liturgical significance.

However, as I grew older, my faith became gradually less dependent on my parents. When I was attending a Catholic high school, there were certain religious obligations that were expected of everyone, such as monthly Mass, prayer services, prayers before classes, etc.

However, during my high school years, my faith grew simply because I chose to do so. I was the one, not my parents, who signed up for countless retreats, service projects, and leadership roles. Through this initiative, I encountered life-changing experiences, mentors, and friends who have forever changed my life.


Yet, by the time I graduated, I saw my high school glory days fade before my eyes. Before I knew it, I was off to a new place hundreds of miles away from home as a college freshman. Although I chose a Catholic university, specifically because my faith became that important to affect my college application process, I quickly realized that not only the religious diversity of a college campus, even a Catholic one, but also the fact that those who did identify as being Christian failed to incorporate their faith into their daily lives.

My high school teachers warned me about this months before I graduated. But now, I wish I could hear their advice just one more time.

Because the truth is....it's hard to be religious in college. The stereotypical college student who has spent their entire weekend either sleeping or partying is too lazy or reluctant to dedicate an hour of their Sunday evening to Church; therefore, it's difficult to find a group of "Mass people" to walk to Church with every Sunday.

Therefore, there have been Sunday evenings where I casually stroll to the Villanova Church alone; yet, I feel once I'm inside, the Catholic community takes away the fears, anxieties, and stress that I experienced on the way there. Only recently have I realized that this is the challenge God has given me in this new chapter of my life.

I am not only prepared for this next step in my spiritual growth. But most importantly, I am ready to see where it takes me and what I will become as a result.

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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(12-10) 11 Bible Verses To Ease Your Mind During Finals Week

Through God, all things are possible.

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Finals week seems like one of the most important weeks in a college student's life. Every waking moment is spent studying (and most moments are waking moments because your sleep schedule is messed up). There may be a few moments of weakness; some tears may be shed. Overall, your stress level is through the roof.

Well, this is the time for you to rely on God, not to blow-off your spiritual life. He is there for you -- His love, His dedication, His patience, His care. You need to place your Faith in The Lord. Through God, all things are possible.

1) When you are overly scared about your cumulative final exam. 

"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" -- Hebrews 13:6.

2) When your anxiety and nervousness are getting the best of you. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9.

3) When you cannot stop ruminating on your past mess-ups and failures. 

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 3:13-14.

4) When you are placing too much pressure on the outcomes of these exams.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -- Colossians 3:2.

5) When you are exhausted from studying and need to rest. 

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." -- Proverbs 3:24.

6) When you are wondering if the stress is even worth it.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." -- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

7) When you are worried about how these exams can affect your future. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11.

8) When your need for control is getting the best of you. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9.

9) When you are feeling alone. 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:7.

10) When you are stuck in a study rut. 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -- 2 Corinthians 4:18.

11) When you need some inspiration. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." -- Galatians 5:22-23.

Take a deep breath and know that you are almost done with the semester. Good luck and happy studying!

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