5 Tips for Staying Catholic in College
Source: Mary Thierfelder for Get Fed
1 – Get Involved
Take part in at least one weekly activity or commitment that is faith-centered. This could be a service project, lectoring at Mass. Find a small faith-sharing group so you can surround yourself with others in the same boat as you and can hold you to the standards you set for yourself. A great place to start in with your school’s campus ministry or Catholic student organization. The contact info for Iowa campus ministries is at the bottom of this page.
2 – Pray
When you get to college, your lifestyle and schedule are going to change quite a bit. You may find yourself staying up until dawn finishing a paper or waking up early to do some last-minute studying for a big exam. Don’t let your prayer life get pushed aside. Schedule some time to pray, to go to Mass, to go to adoration and to go to confession. If your school doesn’t have a place on campus to go to Mass or the Mass times don’t fit your schedule, check out some of the nearby local parishes for their Mass times.
3 – Express Your Faith
Being Catholic is a huge part for who you are. Don’t hide it! Hiding your faith not only weakens it, but also stops your friends from knowing the real you. Don’t be afraid to pray before meals in the dining hall. If you want to put a Crucifix in your dorm, go for it. Being open about your faith will help you be more comfortable with who you are and will help you make friends who share your values and what you believe.
4 – Make Good Friends
Surround yourself with people who will be good influences on you and can give you support in your faith. You’ll meet a lot of new and different people in college. You likely won’t agree with all of them on everything. Getting to know people different from yourself is a great way to grow as a person, to grow as a disciple and to share your faith with others. But make sure some of your closest friends are people with strong values who you want to be like spiritually. And, if you date someone, make sure they are a positive influence on your soul.
5 – Enjoy Life
Live responsibly, but do it joyfully! College is going to be one of your biggest opportunities to learn and grow. Take advantage of it! Yes, you will learn a lot academically, but you will also learn a lot about yourself, about others and about life. Live with purpose and trust in God! You’ll be amazed what you can do.