Being Catholic in an increasingly secular world is extremely difficult. Now imagine putting yourself on a college campus full of young people who have the freedom to be on their own for the first time in their lives. Now, your struggles become that much greater!
I have been there, and I am about to come out of the other side of this as a recent college graduate from a large state school. I am now a stronger Catholic than I have ever been in my entire life!
Becoming a Devout Catholic in College
I want to share with you, dear sister, my best tips for how to thrive as a Catholic woman in college.
1. Start and end every day with prayer.
It is easy to focus more on God in your daily life when you begin every day with Him. I take a few minutes right when I wake up to thank God for all of the beautiful blessings in my life, and I devote the rest of my day (sufferings included) to Him.
By beginning every morning like this, you will find yourself soaking in more virtues throughout your day. The stresses of schoolwork and the frustrations of your day will seem smaller. The joys of your day will also be magnified! You may also find yourself sleeping better by not starting and ending your day with social media. I know this is a bad habit for a lot of young people, myself included. All of this comes by simply starting and ending your day in a short prayer.
2. Find a Mass buddy.
As easy as it seems to find time to go to Mass for one hour every Sunday, college students seem to find reasons to skip it. I know this because I’ve been there. It can be very overwhelming to set aside time to get to Mass when you are studying all weekend for those three exams you have on Monday morning. This is where your Mass buddy comes in handy.
Your Mass buddy can keep you accountable for getting to Mass every Sunday when it seems like no one around you goes to church. And on those weekends where you don’t have too much to get done, you have a friend to grab coffee with after Mass!
3. Have Adoration dates with Jesus.
College can be a little lonely/stressful/anxiety-inducing at times. During those times, it can be calming to be able to spend quiet time with Jesus. And if you go to college far from your hometown, an Adoration chapel can be your home away from home!
Saint Augustine said “Our heart is restless until it rests in You”. Bring your heart to God in adoration, and He will give you rest and peace.
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4. Get involved with your college’s parish.
Many colleges have parishes on campus or within close proximity to campus. These parishes typically have multiple programs and events for like-minded Catholic college students. I highly encourage you to get involved with these college parishes; you could meet wonderful young people who will help lead you down the right path towards Heaven!
It can be a little awkward at first coming to group events where you don’t know anyone, but I can guarantee it will be worth it. You could even find your Mass Buddy here.
5. Do not sacrifice your morals for others.
My last tip is the most important by far. Do not, under any circumstances, sacrifice your morals or beliefs for anyone. In my experience, if you share your beliefs with others while exuding confidence and joy, they will admire you for it! And if the people you meet reject you because of your faith or beliefs, then you probably don’t want to be friends with them anyway.
By living in an unapologetically Christian manner, you will make friends with the most genuine people. At the end of the day, you will be glad you didn’t sacrifice your morals for anyone!
Any other recent college grads out there? What helped you become (or stay) a devout Catholic in college?
Margaret McCarty is a college student from Tennessee, currently studying Mechanical Engineering. She enjoys hiking in the Smoky Mountains, coffee dates with her friends, and long walks with her Aussiedoodle, Scarlett. She is currently growing in her faith with other young women by leading Zion, the Catholic women’s group at her college.