Surviving College: Keeping Your Faith in College

Regan Dorcey, Reporter

To most students, college means freedom and independence from mom and dad. This means they have the freedom to do what they want when they want. College is often a time when a student’s faith becomes their own choice. For many college students, it seems that sleep is a better option than going to mass early Sunday morning. In a study done by Campus Renewal, statistics show that roughly 70 percent of college freshmen leave the church in college. Almost 70 percent is, without a doubt, a lot of young adults; but what can be done to help these young students keep their faith?

The first thing to do is to prioritize. Keeping your faith in college can be a challenge between classes, tests, assignments, and just the general stress of college, especially if it’s not higher up on your priorities. Keep events like going to church and praying at the top of your to-do list. Another important thing to do in college is praying. Northeast Community College Freshman Dustin Ternus said, “A lot of times you get overstressed with school work and trying to get everything done and it (praying) can really be a really good way sometimes to relieve that stress.”

Joining a faith-based group on campus may be beneficial too. There are many Christian based groups on campus.  Faith-based clubs on Northeast’s Norfolk campus would be Pulse (Non-Denomination), John Paul the Second (Catholic), Campus Ministry (Non-Denomination), Christian Student Fellowship (Non-Denomination) and Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry (Lutheran). Terry Nelson, the Pulse Bible Study Leader, said, “Getting up on cold nights to get out of your dorm room or apartment and go to a bible study group can be tough. You have to have this inner desire to do something like that, especially when Netflix is the competition.”

Finding good friends of the same faith is also important. College itself is a time of meeting new people and making new friends.  Finding friends of the same faith can make staying faithful easier. Northeast sophomore, Ben Lange said “I know that my life was rough in the past and it took me some time to understand God. My faith means so much to me. My friends of the same faith helped me believe in Him more.”

Some students find God in college, and others never gave up on Him during that transition from high school to college. Ternus said, “I’ve had faith my entire life so keeping it has never been a big problem, it’s something my parents taught me growing up.”

Faith often helps anyone going through a tough time, or in life in general. “My faith life has helped my life in a couple of key ways, firstly, my faith life has given me a huge heart. Secondly, my faith life has helped me in tremendous ways when it comes to times in my life when I ask the question “why?”.” Northeast student Ben Viergutz said,” The most recent example I can think of is a long-term girlfriend of mine broke up with me, kind of out of the blue, at 2:30 in the morning. I had no idea behind her reasoning and I was so crushed and heartbroken, my mind was racing. The only thing that has gotten me through is my belief that God has a plan for my life and hers and if I just fight a little longer it will be worth it in the end.” Viergutz mentioned that the “I’ll Find You” by Lecrae ft. Tori Kelly is a good song to listen to when you ask “why?”

Keeping your faith, as a college student can be a challenge, but taking the right steps will help. Faith is something that helps many students, if they let it. If you are worried about finding faith-filled friends, joining a Christian based group on campus may be the right place to start.