Being a Christian in college #lestruggle. Why? Because if you’re a Christian in college your stuck or torn between being faithful to God, the teachings and upbringings of your parents, and discovering who you are and where you fit in the world. Well you’d be surprised to hear me say, you’re suppose to be going through those kinds of trials. Your young and in your late teens and early twenties, many of you have never been away from home, many of you are out of state, many of you are scared, lost, and already confused. Some of you are in long term relationships, some of you have zero relationships with your family or friends, but you know what I been through it, And I have three tips for “Being a Christian in College,” and how these tips can hopefully make life a little bit easier, and your college experience more enjoyable.
You Don’t Have to Earn Anyone’s Love
Let’s start with this. Many of you have went to college or roomed with your friends from high school or people you already know. Although you’re a Christian many of your friends are not. And sometimes these friends will peer pressure us to do things against our Christian beliefs. Yes, peer pressure is a thing, and in those tension filled moments it shows us who we really are as people, and helps us realize if our friends are really looking out for us. For example, going to a party and drinking an alcoholic drink or spiked beverage, taking puffs of weed just for “fun,” skipping your college classes, going to a party you’re not comfortable with. These are situations some of our friends push us into. So, let’s be clear, college is for education period. You’re there to prepare yourself to be a contributing member to society, those new and wonderful experiences will come, so don’t rush them. Next you have the right to tell your friends, “NO.” True friends don’t guilt trip you to break your values, and you don’t have to earn anyone’s love. Not even the childhood friends you loved since preschool. Period. “No” means “no” and if you lose face in your friend’s eyes then know they have lost some face in yours. You are who you are and more importantly you are God’s child. At the end of the day, His love for you will never change, so if you feel lonely or upset over a peer pressure situation, take heart in knowing some friendships can be saved and others may need to be lost. Because God loves you and He will never stop loving you. His love is abundant and if your friends make you feel bad for not coming along, then trust and believe God can and will replace those who want you to participate in evil doing.
Worry Meet Prayer
You didn’t do so well on the test yesterday. You accidentally slept past your morning class and missed valuable notes. You worried about your relationship with your long or short term girlfriend or boyfriend. You lose sleep over your sick relative. O Beloved you are a child of God and God has written that His children should never worry or be anxious. Worry is a sin. And we cannot receive God’s blessings or walk by faith during our college experience if we cannot move past our fears.
“Casting all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for YOU.” (! Peter 5:7)
As college children, and children of Heaven I encourage you to stop worrying and stressing over things you cannot control. You are a human and your power is limited. Yet you know someone, the Sovereign God who is never surprised and is in control of all things. Though you cannot control your friends or family, you can control your response to the situations you are in. Therefore, “casting all your anxiety on Him,” means to trust God completely with the healing of your mother or brother, or to restore your dying relationship, or to give you the academic vigor and motivation to perform well this semester. Worry destroys the soul and imprisons the spirit. Worry leads to depression and discouragement. Trust leads to strengthened faith, and breakthroughs. Therefore, trusting God COMPLETELY with the concerns and worries of your heart is the only way to receive total peace from Him. This means for you to stop trying to figure out how the situation will end. So I encourage you to every night, surrender your worries to God, tell Him about your day, your victories and fails. Then write a short prayer, reflecting upon the lessons you learned that day and be determined to say this new prayer in the morning, trusting God that He will lead you to victory.
Build a Support System
Finally, learn to build and network early. I’ve attended Michigan State University. Go Green! Go White! This is where I graduated. MSU has over 50,000 students attending this wonderful establishment therefore it was imperative for me to network and get to know my professors, R.As, and counselors, and T.As. You want these people to know your face, because if something bad occurs, they won’t treat you like another student, but give you all the support and encouragement you need. We all need someone, because the old saying is true, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But you cannot be raised or supported if the village does not know who you are. More so these people are here for your academic progress as well. They can tell you about important events, promotions, and scholarships that are beneficial for you. Learn please, learn to make connections, to take these opportunities. And to take advantage of those scholarships and grants. Stop letting laziness keep you from experiencing the success in becoming a lawyer, teacher, artist, photographer. You cannot enjoy the discovery of yourself, if you’re too afraid to walk outside your dorm. As a child of God, God has already planned a life for you. There is no need to fear.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalms 37:23-24)
God will not allow you to stumble, to fall, you may hit rock bottom, but trust and believe you will not stay there. Before you can do anything in this world; do not hesitate to first delight yourself in the Lord. Take time to communicate, read the Word of God for yourself, so when or if you stumble, fear isn’t your first response, but faith is.
I hope these tips were helpful. Please let me know below if there are any situations you want me to cover. Thanks and remember to share.