After 18 years of living under my parents home, college move in day in the fall of 2009 couldn’t come soon enough. Though I loved my parents very much, freedom was calling my name and I couldn’t wait to greet it! My senior year of high school I became involved with bible study, youth group, and the campus outreach club at my high school. Since I was so involved, I had complete confidence that keeping my faith in college was going to be a breeze.
Well.. I was wrong. It was hard. Way harder than I expected. It wasn’t long before I found myself with the wrong friends, making the wrong decisions, and feeling really guilty about my choices. Thankfully, it only took me a semester to realize I was tired of feeling the way I did and became ready to take my commitment with God more seriously.
The rest of my college experience was very different because of these 7 things I started doing:
Choosing my friends wisely.
Whether I was going out with my “friends” or not, they were going out. My friends didn’t like me, they liked going out. They didn’t stay in with me the nights I wanted to stay in because they weren’t really my friends. We need people around us who won’t bring us down and have similar values as us.
Attending a weekly campus club.
Each college campus has their own Bible club. A handful of examples: Crew, Inter Varsity, Chi Alpha. Getting involved with this not only introduced me to other Christians on my campus, but they did many different events so it helped fill my schedule with fun things to do. Everyone needs a group like this!
Opting out of questionable activity.
Drinking parties, being alone behind closed doors with the opposite sex, and cheating on school work are things most college students do; but I was ready to take my faith seriously so I said no to these things. If we want a faith that stays strong, it comes with disciples that aren’t always popular but ALWAYS worth it!
Picking better roommates.
For my husband, this looked like finding a friend from Inter Varsity to live with. For me, it was moving back home. Hello Mom and Dad, you were right… freedom comes with a price tag when you say yes to the wrong crowd. “Show me your friends and I will show you your future”
Making my faith my own.
I needed to actually read my Bible and pray, instead of just think about doing it. I needed to find my giftings and start using them in the church. It is life changing when we put our faith into action instead of just keeping it in the distance.
Having a mentor.
We all need someone older than us who has gone before us, who can walk us through tough times. Instead of learning the hard way, we can learn form their mistakes. Having a mentor shapes us into better people.
Say yes to God.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12. God can and will use you as a college student in amazing ways if you just say yes!
What do you think? What are things college students should be doing to ensure they keep their faith strong?