Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to share a post from one of our Class of 2014-15 Interns, Chloe Batara. (You can read about Chloe in our intro post here.) – SarahWhether you are hundreds of miles away from home or simply attending community college like myself, college brings new privileges and challenges that will strengthen this critical time of transition into young adulthood. As I delve into my first quarter of college, I find myself juggling relationships, maintaining good grades, finding time to relax and pray, and of course, getting enough sleep.
It seems that time is a paradox for the average college student since it is both something we are always needing more of and something we don’t get enough of. In the midst of things, we tend to push back our faith life in terms of our priorities. This is a mistake!
Frankly, I believe that this is one of the best times to nurture our relationship with God, thus growing and understanding who we are and who we are called to be. This will not be possible unless we allow Christ to work through us.
So, the question remains. How can I find time for my faith?
Own Your Faith!
Growing up, our faith has been influenced by parents, teachers, or youth ministers. Yet, as we begin this chapter in our lives where everything is changing, we are asked to take up new responsibilities and learn how to be an independent adult. This includes making a conscious effort to cultivate all areas of life: academic, social, emotional, and spiritual.
In terms of spiritual growth, I found that creating a game plan and setting concrete goals is a huge motivator and allows you to flourish with love for God and others. Even though time is difficult to come by with everything else going on, do not allow your schedule to cause you distress. Simply embrace it and offer it up to God, in order to grow in virtue.
One important goal is to receive the Sacraments. Whether you attend a private or public college, a Catholic church is always nearby to attend Mass, go to Confession, and spend some time with Jesus.
I would recommend finding the campus ministry or the Catholic Newman Center (for public university students). They have numerous resources to offer such as retreats, discipleship groups, service, and social events. This is a fantastic way to foster a sense of community and to discover other students who are also striving for holiness. These people can also keep you accountable with attending Mass and getting involved as both of you take on this journey.
To top it all off, PRAY! We are created to know and love God; and through prayer we come to understand ourselves better because we come to know Him more intimately. This is especially important during college, because sometimes we get distracted or become so busy that we end up not praying at all.
However, even if we pray for merely five minutes in the morning and sprinkled here and there throughout the day, God rejoices because He knows we are trying to make the time for prayer. During these intimate moments with God, we are able to refocus our minds and hearts back on Our Lord as He guides us through the struggles that challenge our faith. Being rooted in prayer will keep you grounded and in check everyday.
With these concrete goals in mind, you will realize how keeping an active faith life will not seem like an inconvenience to your college experience, but rather an opportunity to be open to God’s grace and eternal love. College is a wonderful yet sometimes overwhelming adventure, so it is always good to remember to take it one day at a time. Allow God to carve you into the person you were created to be and you will find the joy and confidence in His plans for you.
Copyright 2014, Chloe Batara