In our generation of college aged people, practicing faith is not the norm and there is a societal pressure that, in a way, discourages faith in young people. At times it feels like I am an outcast for being a Christian and that role is overwhelming and difficult.
With that being said, keeping faith in college is a very difficult thing to do, and I have experienced this first hand. From transferring schools my freshman year and trying to transition to a new university and make new friends, I stopped prioritizing my faith. I lost track of who I wanted to be as a daughter of God, and I stopped practicing my faith boldly.
This ultimately made my experience more difficult, but with my realization of how far I wandered from where I wanted to be with my faith, I put my trust in the Lord and He guided me back into the path I wanted to be on with my faith. After I got back on track, I realized the three things that really helped me in my struggle, and I hope they help you too.
Keep prayer as the center of your day.
Whether it’s saying a prayer on your way to class or getting novenas emailed to your student email, prayer is the foundation of your relationship with God.
If your campus has a Newman Center on campus, use that resource! And if your campus doesn’t, there is probably some sort of Newman Club. Regardless of what your college has to offer, these groups are great places to find sincere friends who will build you up and support your faith.
Without like-minded community, it was really hard for me to stay grounded in my faith. I love and appreciate my friends who aren’t Catholic, don’t get me wrong, but I noticed that the more time I spent with these friends, the easier it was for me to forget my Catholicism. I would forget to say grace before eating, I wouldn’t talk about my faith, and most importantly, I wasn’t growing in my faith.
When I started getting more involved with the Newman Center on campus, my faith an overall attitude increased substantially. I was a lot happier, I felt more like myself, and I was making friendships that allowed me to grow more deeply in my faith and live it more boldly.
I cannot stress this enough. If there isn’t a Newman Center on your campus it can be difficult to get to Mass, but I’m sure there are people who have cars that would be willing to take you. Prioritizing Mass and going every Sunday really helps to keep you grounded in college. It can definitely be stressful, between juggling classes, homework, and friends, but the Lord knows how to make things fall into place.
Sisters, I hope this helps in your transition into college and know that I am praying for you that your faith grows so deeply with the Lord during this season of your life!
Written by Jillian Wagner.