As a new school year is directly in sight, we find ourselves becoming wrapped up in buying school supplies, new clothes, and reuniting with old friends. We are anxious about our classes and workloads, who our teachers will be. But when you are getting ready to head off to college, there is a whole other world of worry that comes up, especially if you are going to a school that is a ways away from home. Here, I am going to talk about keeping in touch with your faith in the college years.
From experience, I can tell you that college is one of the most trying times you will ever experience, as well as exciting. For most individuals, you leave from under your parents authority, and are thrust into a whole new world where you are expected to act like an adult. Also during this time, beliefs are challenged, and with new found freedom, a lot of Christian college students neglect their beliefs or struggle to keep them. Here are some ways I learned to stay in touch with God during this time in my life:
Join a campus ministry: Large universities and small colleges alike will have at least one campus ministry. A campus ministry is a religious organization specifically tailored to help college students on thier walk with Christ. These are excellent places to meet fellow Christians and build lasting relationships with them. Most ministries host weekly worship gatherings that serve as an outlet from the everyday hustle and bustle of college. A lot of campus ministries also host mission trips during spring break and summer, conferences, and other trips.
Become part of a local church: If you decide that a campus ministry is not for you, or you want to be involved in a church setting as well, look into local churches. At some colleges, they may have a campus chapel, or a church that is hosted in a campus building. Churches near large universities often have services and bible studies specifically for students.
Join a bible study: Both campus ministries and churches will have student bible studies. These more than likely are tailored to the students’ needs and are offered on different days of the week, and at nights so you won’t have to worry about conflicts with classes. Some studies are gender based- meaning you will be in an intimate group with all females where you can discuss your unique issues more freely, or a co-ed study.
Make time to talk with God: Sometimes you can’t go to gatherings, church, or bible study, but if you can, make some alone time with God, orwhen there are times when you are feeling overwhelmed with everything. Take this time out to pray or, just to have a conversation with God. This time can also be used to study the Word.
Find a mentor and/or accountablity partner: A mentor and or an accountablity partner is a person such as a bible study leader that you meet with from time to time to discuss the Bible, your walk in faith, and encourage each other in your personal experiences.
I wish I could touch more on this subject, but I hope these small pointers will lead you in the right direction!