The last in this series of college talks is on faith. As mentioned in previous blogs, heading off to college with new surroundings, demands, and stress is challenging for most students. Students want to fit in and be accepted by their peers and sometimes make poor decisions in order to feel a part of a group. This transition time in life may also trigger fear and anxiety. It also may be the first time students are challenged by others about their beliefs. Having a faith and a church family can be comforting, encouraging, and provide needed support. Campus ministries give students a place to learn how to address those challenges as well as a place to address any of their own doubts.
Churches, groups, and/or faith based organizations that provide activities, resources, and opportunities for friendships offer students a sense of belonging and emotional security. Having a relationship with God and seeking comfort and guidance in prayer and/or the Bible also can reduce feelings of loneliness that sometimes accompanies college life. Leaning on our faith especially during stressful times gives us hope knowing that we are never alone and God has a plan for us even if we haven’t figured it out yet. We grow more through our struggles and if we rely more on Him during difficult times it increases our spiritual maturity.
Lastly, God wants a relationship with us and uses situations and people to help us strengthen our faith and trust in Him. The college years are often a time when students walk away from God with some deciding they don’t want or need Him anymore. Given my last five blogs on college stress, pressures, and relationships, I believe this is a time when you need Him more than ever. Nurturing your faith can help you stay centered in life, humble in spirit, and develop a giving heart.